‘Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit!’ (Eph 5:17, 18)
The journey starts at the Cross. ‘You must be born again…’ (Jn 3:7). That is the most radical change in your life. You become a child of God. The Holy Spirit will seal you with a deposit, so that you may be sure of your identity.
Next, you have to desire to be filled with the same Holy Spirit given to you as a heavenly ‘sample’. The earlier the better you make the choice to press on to become baptized with the Spirit. Here, most believers stumble. Most churches fail to lead the sheep to this promised fullness. About ninety percent of the Christians do not actively desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The reason is simple: they refuse to die to self, to carry their cross daily and follow Jesus. For as long as you still want to lie, to steal, to covet, to deceive or to boast about your personal accomplishments, the Holy Spirit will not fill you. He is after all, THE HOLY Spirit. He hates sin and He cannot dwell where un-confessed sin abides. So prepare your vessel, your heart, according to His standard. Then, He will fill you!
There are basic instructions concerning the promised baptism of the Spirit:
*Present your body as a living sacrifice, willing to be filled (Rom 12:1, 2). Remember that it is your body that is to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit. You have to pay the price; you have to train your body to yield to the Spirit. You have to study the Word of God and pray. You have to identify with the work of God in your local church and submit to the delegated authority. If you are in the habit to only attend Sunday services and ignore all other weekly activities, then you cannot be filled with the Spirit.
*Ask, pray for the Holy Spirit to be given to you (Lk 11:9-13). The proof that God is answering your prayer is that for a season you will pass thru some emotional disturbance, anxiety, a feeling of emptiness and disappointment. That is the normal way as the same Spirit is preparing His ‘nest’ in you. It is like the ‘morning sickness’ to a pregnant woman. It is not pleasant but there is joy because she knows that soon she will have a baby.
*Obey God’s commandments. The Spirit is given only to the obedient child of God (Ac 5:32). Each decision to rebel against the Word of God will make it harder to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
*Believe that you shall be filled with the Spirit (Gal 3:1-5). You do not have to obey any law made by man, but you need faith in God who desires you to be filled. Doubt reduces the possibility of the filling with the Spirit. Examine your heart!
Final observations: you cannot be baptized with the Spirit and you do not know about it. The Holy Spirit has to be consciously invited to come in your body. He never deceives you to enter. Secondly, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is done by the Person of God the Son, who is the Baptizer with the Spirit and with fire. It is a historical event in your life time. It is not some ‘gradual’ filling but an instant experience that changes you forever.
The result of the filling with the Spirit is that you receive power for ministry. Your words will have an anointing to break all resistance and your hearers will be saved.
‘Lord, this is what I want! This is what I need! Help me to pay the price, whatever it might be! All to Your glory and honor!
In Jesus name I pray, amen!’