The Bible tells us to be “filled with the Spirit!” Have you ever wondered what that means? It may not be what you think.
We might surmise to be “filled with the Spirit” means that we will have an emotional experience. Now, it could mean that, but you can have this encounter with God and have no emotional experience to speak of.
I’m sure we would all love to have an emotional encounter with God every single day. It would be great to just get “zapped” every morning, wouldn’t it? But that is not necessarily going to happen.
In the Book of Acts, we read of the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the first Christians and filled them. The day of Pentecost was like an explosion that set the early Church into motion.
Like when you start driving a car, there is the “explosion” that starts the engine. But once the engine is started, you just drive the car. You don’t need the explosion over and over, just one to start the engine.
Thank God for those powerful, emotional, life-changing encounters we have with Him. But Scripture reminds us, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). So we don’t need “another” Pentecost any more than we need “another” Calvary.
We just need to appropriate and apply what God has made available for every believer. And that is the work and power of the Holy Spirit to help you be the person God has called you to be.
Paul tells us, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). So we don’t need “spirits,” we need the Holy Spirit!
The word “filled” has many shades of meaning. One translation of the word “filled” describes the concept of the wind filling the sail of a ship as it carries it out to sea. By that definition, to be filled with the Spirit is to allow God to fill your sails and guide your course through life, making His commands a delight, not drudgery.
The word “filled” also speaks of something that should be ongoing and continuous. You could translate it “Be being filled with the Holy Spirit,” just like you have to put gas in your car.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!