How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
The main answer to this question is very simple.
You need to want to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
Remember these words of Jesus, “You have not because you ask not.”
How many things do we miss because we do not ask?
Most likely being filled with the Holy Spirit has many of the same dynamics as being saved.
That is, unless and until we understand how much we gain by being saved and being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are not inclined to want either one.
Often people feel like they will loose control if they give their life to God.
Are we afraid we will lose control of our lives if we give our self to the Holy Spirit?
You never really live until you surrender to God and your life as a Christian is never what it could be until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.
We have no real good reason for not being filled with the Holy Spirit so it is mainly a lack of knowledge that stops us.
There was a man named Mr. Yates who was a farmer and was not making enough money to support his family and farm.
He was getting by on government subsidy.
Day after day Mr. Yates was troubled about how he would be able to pay his bills.
A seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told Mr. Yates that there might be oil on is land.
They asked him for permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease.
At 1,115 feet a huge oil reserve was discovered.
The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day, and many other wells produced more than twice as much.
Thirty years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed that it could still produce 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all.
Since the day he purchased the land he had held the oil and mineral rights, yet he had lived on relief-a multimillionaire living in poverty.
What was the problem?
He did not know the oil was there.
He owned it, but he did not possess it.
The moment we become children of God, through faith in Christ, we become heirs of God, and all of his resources are made available to us.
Everything we need to live a joyous life of Christian victory is ours in the person of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
But many Christians do not understand how to draw upon the resources of the Holy Spirit.
As a result, they live in spiritual poverty, not knowing or experiencing the great riches and resources that are already theirs through the Holy Spirit.
Like Mr. Yates before the discovery of oil, many Christians own but do not possess the riches that are already theirs.
So that we might draw upon the vast reservoir of the Holy Spirit, let us answer come questions about being filled with the Holy Spirit.
What is being filled with the Holy Spirit?
It is a birthright to be claimed.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” Rom 8:16-17
Part of your inheritance is the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Because you are a born-again Christian, it is your birthright to be filled with the Holy Spirit just as Peter was filled, as Stephen was filled, and as 120 men and women were filled in the upper room.
What have you done with your birthright?
Have you claimed it?
It is a command to be obeyed.
“Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
Some people may think, it is optional if I claim my birthright or not; no doubt it is a good thing for some people to be filled with the Spirit, but I do not need to be.
Let us learn, however, that “Be filled with the Sprit” is a command to be obeyed.
You will notice in Ephesians 5:18 a double command: a negative, “Be not drunk,” and a positive, “Be filled.”
The positive command is as authoritative as the negative, and it was binding on just as many of those Ephesian Christians as was the negative command.
And what was true for those believers is equally true for all believers today.
It is a commitment to be made.
“present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Rom. 12:1).
To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with Christ.
If we are filled with the Spirit, we are in Christ.
We are walking in the light as He is in the light, and the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse and keep on cleansing us from all sin.
To be filled with Christ means to be controlled by Christ, not as a robot, but as one who is lead and empowered by the Spirit.
Eight years had passed since the conversion of the people at Ephesus until Paul commanded them in Ephesians 5:18 to be filled with the Sprit.
This has been the experience of many of us.
Quite unintentionally we operated for years without really giving the Holy Spirit the control he needs to have in our lives.
Our goals were good and noble, but they were just-our goals.
Then one day we realized there just has to be more than we had discovered.
Why should we be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Here are three reasons why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
God’s will is that we be filled. John 14:16-17.
We have some problems that can be solved only by the Holy Spirit.
The paraphrase of Romans 7:18-19 and 24-25 in the Living Bible reads as follows: “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right, I want to but I can’t.
When I want to do good, I don’t and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. . . Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”
Some of the obvious problems we may have can only be solved by the Holy Spirit include a secret spirit of pride, a love of human praise, anger or impatience, self-will, carnal fear, a jealous disposition, unbelief, formality, and deadness.
These are some of the traits that generally indicate a carnal heart and thus the need to be filled with the Spirit.
We want to experience the greatest joy and effectiveness possible in my Christian life.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
It is not unusual to hear someone say, “I have never surrendered my life to Christ because I am afraid of what he will do to me.”
Does that sound like a loving Father?
These people do not understand how much God loves them and how much freedom and joy he will give them.
Christians who allow the Holy Spirit to fill them experience a new dimension of peace and effectiveness.
How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit?
We must not confuse being filled with the Spirit with the gifts of the Spirit.
If we do not see a clear-cut difference between these two, we can never have an intelligent grasp of what being filled with the Sprit means.
In AD 567 these Ephesian Christians had received the gifts of the Spirit (Acts 19); and then, eight years later, when writing from prison in Rome, Paul told them to be filled with the Spirit.
If the gift of the Spirit comes at conversion (Acts 2:38); being filled with the Spirit comes at consecration (Rom. 6:13).
They may be close together to years apart.
Elements of being filled with the Spirit include:
Self-examination, “But let a man examine himself” (1 Cor. 11:28).
Above all else, we must be honest with ourselves,
We must not ignore or attempt to hide from ourselves any of our sins.
We must ask ourselves, “What are those things in my life that prevent the Holy Spirit from being able to fill me?”
Confession of all known sin.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
After examining ourselves in the light of God’s Word, we should confess all sin brought to mind by the Holy Spirit.
Until we start calling our pride, anger, complacency, and bitterness “sin”, we will never have the filling of the Holy Spirit.
However, when we recognize these deficiencies as sin and confess them to God, he will “Cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Submission of ourselves completely to God.
“But yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13).
To be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must make ourselves completely available to God to do anything the Holy Sprit wants us to do.
If there is anything in our lives that we are unwilling to do, then we are resisting God, and this always limits God’s Spirit.
Ask to be filled.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
Any suggestion that we wait or tarry our labor is a human suggestion.
Only the disciples were told to wait, and the reason was that the day of Pentecost had not yet come.
Since that day, God’s children have only had to ask for his filling to experience it.
Believe you are filled.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23).
For many Christians, the battle is won or lost right there.
Believing we are filled with the Sprit is merely taking God at his word and that is the only absolute this world has.
How can we know that we have been filled with the Holy Spirit?
Because of the promise of God’s Word.
“Therefore I say to you, What things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
Because of the fruit of the Spirit.
“By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:20).
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Because you will have both the power and the desire to witness.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Because the Holy Spirit will glorify Christ through you.
“He shall glorify me” (John 16:14).
When can you be filled with the Holy Spirit? Now!
Examine yourself, confess your know sins, submit yourself unreservedly to Christ, then simply ask to be filled and believe that you are filled.
Why not trust the Holy Spirit with your life?
This is not a once-for-all experience.
It is an experience we will repeat every day, but it must begin sometime.
Why not let that time be now?
We sing but do we believe these words:
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my hands and let them move a the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be, swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing, always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be, filled with messages for Thee.
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.
Take my love, my God, I pour at They feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be, ever, only, all for Thee, ever, only, all for Thee.
Lord let it be!