The Spirit-filled life
The new birth doesn’t automatically eliminate the old nature. We live in bodies that are susceptible to sin, so we must stay filled with God’s Spirit. Paul says: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal 5:16 NAS). Then he gives us a familiar illustration: “Do not be drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.”
First, Paul’s talking about yielding control of our life to God’s Spirit. When someone’s drunk we say they’re “under the influence.”
Second, Paul’s statement is a command. “Be filled.” He didn’t say, “If you’d like to,” or “It would be nice.” No, if you are going to please God then you must be constantly filled with His Spirit.
Third, this applies to every believer, not just a select few. Sometimes we look at someone and say, “They love Jesus so much; why can’t I be like that?” You can be like that! The difference is the filling of the Spirit, not the fact that they have something you don’t.
Fourth, you can’t fill yourself. Like filling your car, you must regularly go for a gas refill. And for that, you go to the gas station! “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Mt 5:6 NIV).
Are you hungry?
Are you thirsty?
Then go to Him who fills you up.
Fifth, it’s a continuous action. You can’t run your car on a single tank of gas; you’ve got to keep going back to the source. The Spirit’s filling is a dynamic, moment-by-moment experience.
Why is it that way?
Because we live in a world that depletes us spiritually, and we contend with a carnal nature that seeks to defeat us. So, “Be filled with the Spirit.”
“Be filled with the Spirit.” Eph 5:18 NKJV