A great question was asked on the filling of the Holy Spirit. This idea is mostly from Luke. There are 10 times I see the phrase "filled with the Holy Spirit;" 9 of them are from Luke (Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9, 52). Only one time does Paul use this exact phrase; Ephesians 5:18. Likewise, "full of the Holy Spirit" is only found in Luke (Luke 4:1; Acts 6:5; 7:55; 11:24). By studying these passages, we see that Luke equates filling of the Holy Spirit with focus on Jesus and fulfillment of His mission. The Holy Spirit is the power source for taking the gospel to the end of the earth!
In Luke’s writing, the filling of the Holy Spirit can be in answer to prayer (Acts 2:4; 4:31), but it is also the sovereign work of God as in John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit even in the womb (Luke 1:15)! The same is true of Elizabeth (Luke 1:41) and Zechariah (Luke 1:67). People often recognize others as full of the Holy Spirit without any reference as to how they were filled, as with Stephen (Acts 6:5; 7:55) and Barnabas (Acts 11:24).
Two characteristics of being filled with the Holy Spirit seem to be control and power. The Spirit is in control of a person, not his own self or will, and this comes through submission. Likewise, the power of the Holy Spirit is given to the one in submission to Him. My prayer daily is that the Holy Spirit fill me with Himself, and in praying this I usually add, I submit all I am and all I have to You. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God's glory and the exalting of Jesus are our top priorities.
I do believe we should make this our aim each day. In Spirit Walk by Steve Smith, I love how he walks through Scripture showing that unconditional surrender to the Holy Spirit is the prerequisite for being filled with the Spirit. He is correct by equating being filled with the Holy Spirit with ‘letting the word of Christ dwell in in us richly’ (Col. 3:16) and ‘abiding in Christ’ (John 15:1-11).
Those who are infiltrated with God's Word and abiding in Christ ARE filled with the Holy Spirit.
My daily and moment by moment aim is UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. May the Holy Spirit bear His fruit in us and transform us into the glory of Christ! (2 Cor. 3:18).
By: Randy M.
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