What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:18-21).
Christians are not to be intoxicated (drunk) with wine and in like manner to not get "high" with drugs (legal or illegal). Instead we are to "be filled with the Spirit." What does it mean to "be filled with the Spirit?" Does it mean we must have a "second blessing" in which the HOLY SPIRIT empowers us to do the work of the Lord?
Scripture does not say that before we can be "filled" or empowered with by the HOLY SPIRIT we must have a special "second blessing." Instead it is a daily activity. It is something we must do when we first awake and then throughout the day.
The first thing we should do when we wake-up in the morning is ask the HOLY SPIRIT to fill us and lead us that day. Prayer at the beginning of a day makes it go by much more smoothly. Prayer gets us into the proper attitude so we can let our light for Christ shine throughout the entire day. The second thing one should consider is spending time in the Word. A quiet time in the Word when one first gets up fills us with the Word. Being filled with the Word and the HOLY SPIRIT is the same thing because the words that God spoke are "spirit" and "life" (John 6.63). Not only are the words that He spoke "spirit" and "life" but all Scripture:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Prayer throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5.17) is a spiritual energy habit. Continual prayer keeps our mind set on the things above and not the things of this sin-filled world (Colossians 3.2). Being filled with the Word several times throughout the day is another spiritual habit that will conform one to the image of God. Taking Bible breaks is vital to be continually "filled" with the Holy Spirit. If you can take a Bible or New Testament with you try to read a chapter a few times during the day. If you cannot take a Bible with you to work or when you are out you can meditate on Scripture that you have memorized. When you hide the Word of God in your heart you always have it with you to meditate on.
By praying several times throughout the day and taking Bible breaks one can be continually "filled" with the HOLY SPIRIT. The more often we feed on Scripture and communicate with the Lord through prayer, the more we will grow. Babies would die within a few days if they were not given food. The same is true of newborn believers. If they are not given spiritual food they quickly die, spiritually. The more spiritual food they receive the faster and stronger they grow. One or two twenty-minute sermons each week may keep a Christian alive spiritually, but that is life-support nourishment.
To grow into a strong, mature and vital disciple one must feed on Scripture several times every day. All Christians need to listen to, read, study, memorize and meditate on Scripture daily and wash the Word down with prayer. If you do that faithfully every day God will bless you with myriad spiritual blessings, not physical blessings.
If you want to be a disciplined and dedicated disciple of the Lord you must be a spiritual glutton, feeding on the holy Word of God throughout each day and praying always. Instead of being a glutton of physical food and pleasures of the world be a glutton of spiritual food. This is one time being a glutton is a blessing!