We are instructed in Ephesians to “be filled with the Spirit.” What should we understand about this command?
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . (Eph 5:18-20 NKJV, emphasis added)
This passage tells us not to be drunk with wine (which is a form of alcohol, at times referred to as ‘spirits’), but that we should be filled with the Spirit—meaning the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever seen someone who is under the influence of too much alcohol? They are often out-of-control, and will frequently act in ways which are outlandish and even shocking for them. In Ephesians, the word dissipation is used which means overindulgence, debauchery, and intemperance. When such ones recover their sobriety, they may feel ashamed of their actions while they were intoxicated.
However, when one is “full of the Spirit,” we mean a person has allowed themselves to be controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit. This often results in our encouraging each other with Scriptures and with spiritual songs, giving praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. This is a way of overflowing with the joy of the Lord in giving praise and thanksgiving to the Lord who is perpetually worthy to be praised!
Let’s turn back to the Bible and see what other wisdom the Lord would like to share with us.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you. (Joh 14:26 ISV)
The Holy Spirit will teach us everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3) and will remind us of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, namely, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, He will testify about Me . . . (Joh 15:26 NASB)
The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of truth, and the Holy Spirit testifies [gives evidence; affirms; confirms] to us about Jesus. The Holy Spirit teaches us about the love of Jesus for mankind as well as all of His other beautiful attributes.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Ac 2:4 NKJV)
One evidence, on the day of Pentecost, of the infilling of the Holy Spirit was the fact that all those who were filled spoke in other tongues [unknown languages, that is, unknown to the speakers]. This experience of speaking in other tongues is still available today to anyone who desires it. Just ask, by faith, the Holy Spirit to give it to you in Jesus’ Name. God bless you.