Are You Filled With the Spirit?

filled with the Spirit

What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? Do you ever wonder how to unleash the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life? In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he writes, “… be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18, NIV). The original Greek phrase “be filled” is grammatically a present imperative—we don’t have a smooth English translation for this except “be filled.” To really get at the idea of the original Greek, you would need to read this verse as “be being filled” or “keep on being filled.” Further, it’s in the passive voice, meaning it’s not “fill yourself up with the Spirit,” but rather “let yourself be filled” or “let the Holy Spirit fill you.”

Filled With the Spirit

The Bible teaches that an individual is filled with the Holy Spirit by involving himself or herself in the process that leads to an ongoing, day-in, day-out filling. It’s not a once-for-all experience, but rather an ongoing process. It’s a way of doing life. Whenever we talk of something being filled, we usually have an image of something like a glass being filled with water. Whenever the Bible talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit, that’s not what is means. We are not vessels into which God pours a certain amount of Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person, so being filled is a relational issue.

So how do we experience “being filled with the Spirit”? Well, it’s not about levitating or foaming at the mouth. To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we allow Him to occupy, guide and control ever-increasing areas of our life. It’s a simple idea, but a profound one. The more you follow the Holy Spirit, the more you are filled. And the more you are filled, the more you are led. And the more you follow that lead, the more you are filled again. The entire dynamic is that you live in and by and through the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit, surrendering daily to His leadership and promptings.