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How to be Filled with the Spirit

By Rev Dr Colin Peckham

All Christians have the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:9) but not all Christians are filled with the Spirit of God. Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians, who had the Spirit, to be filled with all God's fullness (Eph. 3:19) and he exhorted them to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

There is certainly no standard method for Christians to experience God's fullness, no pat formula, yet there are principles, which, if followed sincerely may well be very helpful to the seeking soul. Consider the following:

The fullness of the Spirit is necessary to live victoriously, to witness effectively, to fellowship harmoniously.

The fullness of the Spirit is possible because of scriptural examples, exhortations, prayers and promises, God would not have placed a desire for the Spirit's fullness in our hearts if He did not intend to meet and satisfy that desire. Without the conviction that the Spirit-filled life is possible further seeking in this realm is futile. You must be sure that you can be filled. It is a distinct possibility for you personally.
'I believe that it is possible for me to be filled'

An acknowledgement that the present condition of your heart is such that it could not be described as being filled with the Spirit. The first stop to the Spirit's fullness is the realisation that you are not filled with the Spirit.
'I realise that I am not filled'.

Despite failure you nevertheless desire full conformity to the will of God. You long to be totally possessed and controlled by God. This desire is much stronger than a passing fancy or a changeable whim. It is an intense longing which will not be denied. R. A. Torry said: 'If you think that you can do without it you will never have it.'
'Lord I long to be filled with the Spirit.'

It may take some time to get to the stage where bland realisation becomes heart-broken confession. revelations of inner conflict and fleshly intrigue may have been embarrassing and damaging to your Christian testimony. Perhaps these hurtful conditions are known only to yourself. Tears have flowed in the past over sad and repeated failures.
'Lord I confess my deep spiritual need.'

Wrong and questionable things are to be put away. There is a decided turning from impurity and selfishness. No longer will evil be tolerated. The Holy Spirit cannot control the heart where these are indulged. The cleansing power of the blood of Christ can and will cleanse the heart from that which is displeasing to Him. Trust the Lord to cleanse from your heart that which you renounce.
'Lord I turn away from wrong and evil. Cleanse it all from me.'

Obedience! God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Are you ready and willing to obey what the Lord says to you? Will you seek to please Him in all things?
'Lord, I will obey You.'

All that I am and have must be His. He cannot fill what He does not have. Your will, your heart, your affections, your intentions, your appetites, your abilities, your aspirations, your mind, your imaginations, your possessions, your body-all must be His. 'Yield yourselves to God' (Rom. 12:1,2).
'Lord I yield myself totally to You.'

Ask! This is always God's order. 'Ask and it shall be given you' (Luke 11:9). Our heavenly Father will 'give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him' (Luke 11:13). After presenting yourself to Him, the next step is to ask Him to fill your yielded heart.
'Lord, fill me, possess and control me'.

Faith! We receive Him initially by faith, we walk by faith, we advance by faith, we grow by faith. When He comes to possess the body, mind and soul, taking over the whole personality, every nook and cranny, this too is a decided step of faith. We are trusting a mighty God who cannot break His Word and who will meet the one who is seeking Him with all his heart, a God who will fill the ongoing soul with His presence and blessing, a God who is abundantly able to meet your need and to fill your soul. If we are to trust Him to fill us, and if by faith, why not now?
'Lord, I trust You to fill me now.'

No-one can know God in His fullness and not know it. Some time, earlier or later, there will be a manifestation of the divine presence. This differs widely. some may experience great joy or peace, some may be flooded with love, others may have a sweet assurance stealing into their hearts. god reveals Himself to different personalities in different ways and as He wills.
'Lord I thank You for witnessing in my heart.'

No confident boastful attitude is to be tolerated. If any testimony to God's mighty working is to be made it is a humble declaration to His wonderful Person and marvellous revelation to the soul.
'God has done a new thing in me.'

Cultivate Christ's companionship. Practice the presence of God. Be engrossed with Jesus Christ. Get to know Him in His Word. Ponder and meditate upon it. Fill your mind with its teachings and precepts. Seek Him continually. Wait on God in prayer. let Him speak to your soul. Take time to be with Him.
'Lord, let my life be filled with You.'

I don't have to worry about the outflow. God sees to that. if I keep close to Him and his love fills me and flows through me, others will see it. It will be demonstrated unconsciously. They will know that I have been with Him and am walking in His presence.