Be Filled with the Spirit

“Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)

Sealed by Him

“In Him [Jesus Christ] you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph 1:13,14).*

In Romans 8:9b the Apostle Paul writes, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” The Holy Spirit resides in all believers. All believers, however, are not filled with the Holy Spirit. All are not controlled and empowered by the Spirit. Therefore, the Scriptures command that all be filled with the Spirit.

Filled with Him

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 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, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” 5:15-20).*

The command to be filled with the Spirit is in a verb tense that indicates continual action.[1] If we continually obey this command, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit throughout each day. We do not deserve to be filled with the Spirit any more than we deserved to become God’s child. The words “be filled” indicate that the filling is something we receive—not something we accomplish. So, how do we receive undeserved filling of God’s Spirit?

Jesus said to the woman at the well: “… whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

The Holy Spirit has been seeking to fill us from the very moment we received Jesus as Lord and Savior [John 1:12]. The Spirit yearns to fill us—and we long to be filled.
Then why are we not filled? Galatians 5:17 provides the answer: “The flesh lusts against the Spirit …” The barrier is our flesh. Remove the barrier of the flesh
and receive the filling of the Spirit. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).*

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22,23).*

Obey the five commands of Romans 6:11-13. Enjoy the abundant life and become the instrument of God to a needy world by continually being filled with the Spirit.

Samuel Longfellow’s hymn, “Holy Spirit, Truth Divine” gives this prayer:

Holy Spirit, Love divine,
glow within this heart of mine.
Kindle ev’ry high desire,
purify me with your fire.

Holy Spirit, Pow’r divine,
fill and nerve this will of mine.
Boldly may I always live,
bravely serve and gladly give.

Holy Spirit, Peace divine,
still this restless heart of mine.
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
grant me your tranquility.

Holy Spirit, Joy divine,
gladden now this heart of mine.
In the desert ways I sing,
spring, O living Water, spring! [2]

Editor’s notes

From Living in the Garden of Grace, pp.22,23. Available as a free download at
[1] Greek verb form: present tense, imperative mood, passive voice
[2] by Samuel Longfellow (1864) who was a minister in the northeastern states and brother of the famous poet. Poem added
Headings added
*These Scripture quotations were added.
Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright by Thomas Nelson.