How to be Filled with the Spirit ~ blog
I have some questions to which I would like to find some answers.
- Why do some people make progress in their recovery and some do not?
- What does it take for anyone to experience the transformation by the Spirit?
- Is there a formula by which if one follows it, they will be healed of this addiction?
Having experienced over 15 years and 4 months of working through my own recovery and at this point feeling that I am so much freer from my sexual brokenness, I desperately want to help every one of you who are struggling with your sexual brokenness. I know what it is like to remain addicted to sex and porn, wanting to stop yet finding the battle far greater than you thought it would be.
Here are the two foremost things for succeeding in your recovery.
You must learn how to be filled with and walk in the Spirit.
You must be part of a community of others helping one another.
So, let’s learn how to be filled with and walk in the Spirit. If you take the Bible as God’s Word and what it says as God’s instruction for our lives, there are two passages that we need to know and do.
Yesterday, we learned that every born-again Christian has been sealed in Christ with the Spirit and that our body is the Temple of the Spirit. The Spirit is God’s seal identifying us as His possession. At the time this passage was written a seal was a sign of ownership. The Holy Spirit is God’s sign of ownership declaring we have been adopted by Him and paid for by the death of Jesus PLUS we will receive our inheritance in heaven.
So, please stop doubting God’s love for you. He has not left you. He has never ever stopped loving you. You are signed, sealed, and delivered from the penalty of your sins forever and it is the presence of the Spirit in you that guarantees all of it.
Also, Jesus said the Spirit will dwell in us and be in us forever. So, the Spirit of God is literally inside of us. We have been sealed in Christ by God with the Spirit who is God’s stamp of approval.
Now if we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, as we are commanded in Eph 5:18, that must mean that it is possible for us to have the Spirit in us but for Him to not be filling us. It is not a matter of needing more of Him in order to be filled. He does not leak out while we are sleeping. He is not like the gas in our gas tank that needs to be refilled. Notice what Paul is comparing it to. He says; “Do not be drunk or intoxicated with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.”
For this to make sense we need to understand how does being drunk with wine equates with being filled with the Spirit. Wine, or alcohol, has an influence on us. A little bit can be relaxing and even healthy…but too much and something happens. We begin to be influenced by the wine. Our speech can become slurred and our reactions impacted. We can say stupid things and do things we would not do if we were not “under the influence” of alcohol.
So, to be filled with the Spirit is not like asking God to pour more of His Spirit into us. It is asking the Spirit who is already fully in us to be in control of us. It is giving Him permission to be affecting the things we think, do, and say. It is yielding ourselves to His being in control of our actions. Just as being drunk on wine leads to losing self-control and doing things we later regret we can be influenced by the Spirit and our words and deeds will be more like what Jesus would do.
Being filled or controlled by the Spirit leads to Him being in control and Him empowering us to do what He wants us to do. He can also give us the power to not do what we should not do but, because of our addiction, we are craving to do. To be filled with the Spirit is to be surrendered to Him and allowing Him to fill you and empower you so that you will do the things He wants you to do.
I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking that you have already tried that, and it did not work for you. You have asked the Spirit to fill you and maybe even have done it consistently for days or weeks but still find yourself falling back into sexual sin. We would like to think that being filled with the Spirit is like turning on a light switch. Flick the switch up, electricity flows to the lamp and the light comes on. All the time that will happen until the bulb burns out, the fuse is blown, or something goes wrong with the wiring or the electricity flowing into your home.
Well, the Holy Spirit is not a light switch. He is not some inanimate life source inside of you that you can control according to your will. He is not some Eveready Battery that can be turned on with a switch. He is the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ alive and dwelling in your body.
He is someone with whom we can and must develop a relationship. He can be grieved when we do what He tells us we should not do. He can be stifled or quenched if we do not do what He tells us we need to do. As long as we are listening to Him and following His directions, living our lives yielding to His directions then His power in us is going to grow stronger.
And when we begin to do this consistently, every day, one day at a time, His presence in our life grows stronger and something amazing happens. We begin to be transformed. He begins to literally change us. He wants to transform us and conform us to the image of Christ. And as this continues to happen, we ourselves and others around us will begin to see the fruit of the Spirit. We become more loving, joyful, at peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle … AND HAVE MORE SELF-CONTROL!!!
This is the work the Spirit of God wants to do with you and every other follower of Christ. And this is not some pie in the sky when you die stuff. Yes, the work will be completed and finished when we arrive in heaven. But in the here and now this is what He wants to be doing in every Christian.
To lead you out of sexual sin and transform you into a Christ-like man is what He wants to do right in the here and now. And He will do that except for one condition. He waits for your invitation to ask Him to fill you…to influence you He waits for all of us to surrender to Him and His control every day.
So, we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and if you are not doing that then you will not be walking in the Spirit. You will be walking in the flesh and falling back into sexual sin.
After learning to be filled with the Spirit we next need to learn how to walk in the Spirit. But for today and every day going forward, we must surrender control to the Spirit and ask Him to fill us on a daily basis. This is where your recovery must begin.