And who God Calls He washes, and who God washes He strengthens and who God strengthens He prepares and who God prepares, He fills. And that is what we are looking at today, being filled.
Can you imagine being filled without being prepared. It would be like filling up a clay pot before it was cured. The filling would break the vessel. When God prepares us and we respond positively by preparing ourselves, we are then filled.
The reason that it is so important to understand how God fills us is so that we will be able to recognize the real from the fake. There is a real and there is a fake. Let me give you a biblical definition of being filled with the Spirit.
Being filled with the Spirit is the receiving of an increase by infusion of the Spirit of God, abundant and sufficient, (more than our regular supply), to meet the task at hand with ample provision. Filled as used in the scriptures in every verse where the phrase "filled with the Holy Spirit", is used, is the words (pletho) and (pleroo), and it means:
Imbue - permeate or invade
Influence - a power indirectly or intangibly affecting a person or cause of events.
Supply - To make available for use; to furnish and equip with what is needed or lacking.
Replete - Plentifully supplied; abounding.
Finish a task, (but not finished, as the end of all tasks)
- Being filled with the Spirit is not being full of the Spirit as if there were no more Spirit to receive.
- Being filled with the Spirit is not a second work of grace, but it is a second work and a third work and a fourth and a fifth and so on.
- Being filled is to receive an increase (of the Spirit of God that we already have).
And that is what it means to be filled with the Spirit. God gave us a portion of the Spirit of God at the moment of salvation and that portion of the Spirit is always available for use and to operate in and through - but the filling of the Spirit is for the specific purpose of accomplishing the impossible, or accomplishing specific tasks associated with building up the body of Christ or expanding the kingdom of God or for the glorification of God.
God indwells our being in the person of the Holy Spirit and God does this at the moment of salvation. Being baptized with the Holy Spirit is to be empowered for service and being filled with the Holy Spirit is when God imparts unto us more of His Spirit for a specific purpose or for specific purposes.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, our propensity for sin is not eradicated as some teach, however it is subdued and controllable, because we have been strengthened and prepared to stave off what used to rule us and control us.
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled up with the Spirit of God for use and that as you operate (walk in the Spirit) you are continually filled as you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
But to think that the believer is filled in the sense of not being able to be filled more is to believe an erroneous truth. Filled as used in scripture is more akin to a continuous infilling that takes place over and over again than a one time event that takes place and makes us more heavenly than those who have not been filled.
Baptism into the Spirt
Water baptism is the outward expression, (public profession) of an already existing inward work. It is true that in some cases when the non-believer becomes a believer, that they are baptized into the body of Christ, baptized in the Spirit, and filled with the Spirit of God at the same time. One of these times was at Pentecost after Jesus had ascended - And there are at least three other occasions mentioned in scripture where this phenomenon took place.
But in all other scripture references, these experiences happened separately. In some cases the Holy Spirit was poured out onto believers before they were water baptized, like in Acts 10:44-48.
In Acts 9:17 Paul is filled with the Holy Spirit and the blindness from his eyes was removed and then he was immediately baptized in water. This was in A.D. 34
God does not leave His people to handle the tough times on their own, He fills them with Himself for the occasion, for the moment, for the tasks at hand or for the tasks ahead.
Every believer has received the indwelling Holy Spirit, but not every believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit or filled with the Holy Spirit, because not every believer has determined in their heart to make full use of their time, money and energy for the purposes of God.
Being filled with the Spirit is not complicated and it is not for one group and not another.
Being filled with the Spirit is for you and for me.
Being filled with the Spirit is a work of God for the prepared man, woman, teen or child.
You are filled to accomplish certain tasks that if you were not filled you could not accomplish.