- Ephesians 5:15-20 (NLT) 15So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“be filled with the Holy Spirit”
The tense of this sentence is the present continuous. In other words Paul says that we are to be continually filled up with the Holy Spirit. Be continually controlled by Him. It is not a one-time event but an ongoing way of living. Ever open to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding.
The other thing to observe is that it is in the passive voice. We cannot fill ourselves up with the Holy Spirit but we are to be filled by the Holy Spirit. To “be filled” means that the filling of the Spirit is a work of God, not man. He’s not saying “fill yourself” but rather “be filled.”
This command is in the plural, as if Paul were saying, “Let each and every one of you be filled with the Spirit.” On one hand, that means the command is for every Christian. God intends—and desires—that all his children be filled with the Holy Spirit.
But there is a sense in which this is also a corporate command. The church as a church is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That is, the filling of the Spirit is not something for my own personal improvement. God’s Spirit imparts life-giving power that transforms the church from a social club or a religious gathering into a living body of Christ.
I am to be filled with the Spirit—but I am not to be filled alone. When the Holy Spirit fills us one by one, Desert Streams will be transformed.
How are you living out a spirit-filled life in the context of the church family?