How to Be Filled By the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:17-23

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, [m]excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality [n]for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn [o]Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


In Galatians Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” I want to talk about how we will do this to an ever greater degree.



  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to Empower Your Life


  1. God gives the Spirit to those who ask Him

                Luke 11: “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”


Ask and keep asking. Seek and keep seeking. Be persistent. Trust in God’s willingness to empower your life with the Holy Spirit who lives in you.


What should it feel like to be empowered by the Holy Spirit? It should feel like living normal life, making decisions that are rooted in and exemplify the fruit of the Spirit. Should we expect to just float along? Am I doing it right? The reality is that if we have a big pressure tank and a very small hose to allow the pressure to release, there will be a constriction. The pressure available is choked. But, when we clear our lives of fleshly pursuits…


  1. Leave fleshly life pursuits


Obviously if the flesh and the spirit are in opposition to one another, then you cannot persist in life from both sources. We have choices to make!


Pleasure as a motivator? What about when God calls us to hard things? What about practicing spiritual disciplines?


Greed as a motivator? What about the balance of loving others, caring for family, being considerate of the needs of others? What about living in a considerate manner toward the environment?


Pride as a motivator? What about serving others? What about being considerate of others, promoting their growth instead of competing? What about


  1. Expect the Holy Spirit to promote character first

The Holy Spirit will confirm His presence in your life. You will be given gifts. You will have abilities that the Holy Spirit will use to support the kingdom of God in the world.


I Cor 12: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all personsBut to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith [d]by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of [e]healing [f]by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the [g]effecting of [h]miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the [i]distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.


A typical New Testament experience for someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit is a bold testimony about God’s presence and purposes, and a manifestation of the Spirit’s power. Tongues, interpretations, faith, knowledge, wisdom, healing, miracles etc.


You are permitted to ask the Holy Spirit for gifts, but not for personal acclaim, but to minister in His kingdom! And you are to seek gifts that build others up! This is the goal


  1. Ask the Holy Spirit for His Fruit


Love: God Loves you and He is not kidding!

Ephesians 3: 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [l]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [m]saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.



Joy: There is joy that comes from knowing that you are doing what it is that God wants in your life. In your work, you are doing things to promote beauty and usefulness. In your relationships you are acting as Christ would: Service, Giving, Sacrifice, Love, Encouragement, Honest Care.


Peace: Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and the connection to His plans and purposes enliven all of the mundane. A person who knows that they are doing God’s will knows the peace of God in that will.



  1. Focus Your Mind on God’s Word, Work and Will


  1. Get God’s Word in your thinking


                Bible is called the canon of Scripture. What is a canon? It is a measuring rod. What does the Bible do for us? It gives us the necessary direction to understand what it is that God desire of us.


II Tim 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is [h]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [i]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


Equipped for every good work. We are made for good works. What helps make us able to do them? Understanding what they are, what they are not and how we can work to counter the natural tendencies that we have to not be good.


The Gentile way: Eph 4: in the futility of their mind18 being darkened in their understanding[m]excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them,


Colossians 3: Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


  1. Make God’s ways your desire

        What loves drive your behavior? Do not love the world! There is a lifetime of work in that one sentence. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be driven by sensuality. Don’t be driven by the advancement of self.


Love God with all of your energy, thinking and emotion. There is a lifetime of work in that one sentence! How do we discover when our desires are not on God? Look for the absence of the fruit of the Spirit!


        Focus your attention on this! Ask yourself questions about how you function as a husband, father, sibling, friend, church member, employee, employer and citizen.


Col 3: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.


Ephesians 4: 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—


Sexual freedom: if it doesn’t hurt anyone what is wrong with it? Well, STD’s, Broken hearts, Abandonment of God’s plans and purposes for marriage, Lack of self-control, abortion etc. Do we have less or more sexual sin in our culture now than 50 years ago? Things are worse.



  1. Exert yourself to change

One you have the information, and you understand the struggle, then take steps of faith to change. Work on it.


Ephesians 4: lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


Put aside falsehood and speak the truth


Don’t steal, work so that you have something to give


When angry, resolve it quickly, do not nurse the anger and feed on it.


Don’t tear down with your words, build others up. Be positive!


Do not nurse bitterness, slander and hatred, instead be kind, forgiving and tenderhearted toward others.


Don’t make dirty jokes a source of joy, but gratitude is the source of joy.


Don’t get drunk, but we filled with the Holy Spirit and sing!



  1. Get yoked with Jesus

        Matt 11:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


See your entire life as connected to Jesus Christ. Read His teaching, follow it. And expect to know His personal presence in that process.