“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
The greatest need of Christians today is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Not as a one time event, but each and every day. The literal Greek would read, “be being filled with the Spirit.” How can we be filled with the Spirit?
First, by recognizing the need. In Zechariah 4:6 God says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts.” God’s work does not go forward by human strength, will, or cleverness, it requires the operation of His Spirit. We must be convinced this is true, or we will not sincerely seek the Spirit’s filling.
Second, we must be thirsty. John 7:37-39 reads, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me (Jesus) and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, who those who believed in Him were to receive.” God wants a river of life flowing out of you and me to bless this hurting and dying world, but it starts when someone is thirsty enough to receive. Are you thirsty for more, or content with what you have? Our hearts are created to thirst for God, but many seek to quench that thirst with stuff, alcohol, entertainment, human relationships, or fill in the blank. If these other things have dampened your thirst for God ask Him to forgive you, and tell Him you want to thirst for Him again.
And finally, we must ask. Jesus said, “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” (Luke 11:13) The Amplified Bible brings out the Greek tense, “to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” This is not a one time asking, but a continual relationship of dependence. As our cars regularly need to be refilled with gasoline, and our bodies regularly need to be refilled with food, so our spirits need to be regularly refilled with the Holy Spirit.
The main reluctance Christians have about asking is that they don’t feel they’re good enough to be filled. While God may lead you to repent of areas before He fills you, He wants you and I to know that His Spirit is a gift, not a reward for good behavior. In fact, He starts off this wonderful promise by alluding to his own disciples as “being evil.” He’s saying that our sinfulness is not preventing Him from pouring out His Spirit, rather the Spirit’s filling is actually the solution for our evil. No one washes up before taking a shower – that’s the point of the shower!