You could google this question this question and get many answers. The professionals will say one thing, while a novice may give her uninformed opinion, and then again someone might be false.
The Pentecostal will see it one way and a Quicker another.
But one thing we cannot deny is the call to be filled with the Spirit is Scriptural:
… but be filled with the Spirit.Ephesians 5:18b
Being filled with the Spirit is life-changing.
It comes with great joy in God. This joy brings power to overcome besetting sin, a boldness to witness, new insight into Scripture, and even a prayer language.
Even without the command “to be filled”, anyone would want the joy of the Lord and the benefits of knowing Christ. Being filled with the Spirit is a joy that flows within the Holy Trinity and empowers us to live according to our calling in Christ.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.Acts 1:8
If you were to ask individuals how they were filled with the Spirit. They might say at the altar (as someone laid hands on them) or in the privacy of their bedroom. We seek but the Lord fills.
Every Sunday, since this COVID-19 crisis, my pastor has encouraged us to be filled. We are closely coming to Pentecost Sunday when the first generation Christians were filled in the upper room (Acts 2).
But empty altars, silent pews, and social distancing leave the question in the air, “Then how am I supposed to be filled with the Spirit.”
Before going to bed Sunday night I whispered a prayer to the Lord. In response, the Lord gave me three dreams.
In the first dream, a man I did not know approached me with three items on a silver tray. He told me one of them was the Holy Spirit. I had only one choice. If I made the wrong choice, then I lose. While I was reaching out to pick one I woke up.
I shook my head and said, “Lord! What does this mean?”
Then I fell back to sleep because I hoped the dream would continue, but it didn’t. It was another dream. But, this time, the same man, showed me three expensive cars, one had millions of dollars inside and the Holy Spirit. Still the choice remained: choose one or lose. Before I stepped forward, I woke up.
“Lord, what does this mean?”
I fell back to sleep again because I really needed an answer. For the last and final dream: . The same man approached me and we wore at a harbor. On the dock was a mighty container ship with hundreds of containers. He assured me the Holy Spirit was in there, I only needed to choose. Before I took a step on the deck, I woke up.
“Lord, what does this means?”
I did not go back to sleep this time. I ran to the guest bedroom and closed the door. The truth is the Holy Spirit was not on the silver tray, the expensive care or the massive ship. The Holy Spirit dwelt with me and all I needed to do was chose the Lord alone.
The answer to my dreams came to me behind closed doors, in the Secret Place. To be filled with the Spirit I needed to come, yield, and abide. He would do the rest. The Gift is up to the Giver not the other way around.
Jesus calls us to come to Him. When we heed that call we enter into the new life–life everlasting with the Holy Spirit. Day-by-day, we come to Him, and we’re complete in Him.
Come to Me…Matthew 11:28b
Coming is a matter of the heart.
The wandering heart never lets grass grow under her feet. The yielded heart comes to the Lord and basks in His faithful love. The wandering heart refuses to stay long enough to feel God’s love or know who He is. The yielded heart comes and waits on the Lord.
In the coming we find His rest. In presence of the Holy we breathe the air God breathes.
The union of Christ and the Christian begins with our yielding to Him.
Etched in the folds of the yielded heart is the Word of God. Each page and passage reveal His will and nature. The Holy Spirit is welcome there. The one who yields leans in to learn and stays to be filled.
The yielded heart knows the voice of the Lord and in His presence divine and infinite love. The link that binds us is real. The Holy Spirit is real, close, and holy.
The Holy Spirit delights to fill the yielded soul. Eternal assurance and steadfast love come in the filling.
The wandering heart is a rolling stone and abides nowhere. The yielded heart abides and in this choice she finds the secret in dwelling with the Holy.
Abide in Me…John 15:4
The yielded heart abides.
Troubles come, and troubles go. Sorrow visits us for a short while as sickness and pay stay for a few moments. The yielded heart is not immune to trouble, sickness, or pain. She walks through the valley of the shadow of death.
But the Holy Spirit fills her and she never walks alone.
In abiding we empty ourselves of self and sacrifice our will for God’s. The yielded heart depends on the Lord, submits to His call and walks in obedience.
The Holy Spirit fills the one who trusts in Him wholeheartedly. The yielded heart trusts the Holy Spirit. He dwells there and no other vessel is sufficient for His divine work.
SO HOW CAN I BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
Come… Yield… Abide…
- Want to be filled with the Spirit? Come.
- Want to know Christ intimately? Yield.
- Want to abide in Christ? Set your heart still in His presence and gaze into His eyes until the light from heaven falls gently on your soul.
Oh, wandering heart, stop and abide in Christ. Be filled with the Spirit and live. Come, taste and see that the Lord is good. In His provision of forgiveness we find mercy and in His faithfulness we find grace.
My dreams pointed me in the right direction. But if I had chosen the silver platter, the expensive car or that massive ship I still would have been without nothing. It was a lie, and that man was the enemy of my soul. None of them contained the Holy Spirit. No matter what the choice I would lose.
To be filled with the Spirit, we must come empty-handed and trust the Lord to fill it. The Lord is near. He is ready to give you the desires of your heart, especially as you seek more of the Holy Spirit.
Are you ready to be filled?
… The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you request to God. And the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.Phillipians 4:5b-7