How to be filled and led by the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18 says to “be filled with the Spirit.”

I used to wonder how you did that. It sounds so mystical and vague.

I don’t see a “mighty rushing wind” or a “divided tongues as of fire” appearing and resting on people like what happened to the disciples in the early church as described in Acts 2.

Some people think we can speak in tongues today just as the disciples did in Acts 2. But some of the events as described in the Bible were just that: special historic occurrences. Just because they happened during that time doesn’t mean they will happen all the time right now. Just because Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead doesn’t mean that will happen all the time. Jesus Himself died on the cross for our sins and rose again. That was the most significant event in history, and it is wonderful news that happened. But it happened once and is not going to keep happening.

We need to be careful about assuming we will receive the same gift or challenge that happened at specific historical times written about in the Bible.

Being led by the Spirit doesn’t mean that we need to rely on some type of internal prompting or “feeling?”

The problem with that is that the feeling could just be your own wondering mind or an immediate feeling.

The best way to rely on the Spirit is explained in Colossians 3:16: “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.”

We know the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit. He will guide us when we do read the Bible and genuinely want to understand and follow what it says. We may not always necessarily “feel” it. Stick with what we know: the Bible is God’s inspired Word.

You and I are most likely not prophets like Isaiah or John were. Our job is to read and study the Word and submit to God. It may not seem as exciting to read the Bible as to be led in a dream (Matthew 1:18-25) or a whirlwind (Job 38:1). However, it is more exciting that we have the entire Bible today, unlike the prophets in history. We actually have more. And we know that the Bible was written by men led by the Holy Spirit.

Paul writes in II Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

We don’t always see how the Spirit works today, but we know that the Spirit is working and see the results.

Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:8: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

If you want to be led by the Spirit, we need to spend time reading God’s Word, meditating on it, asking God to lead us, and submitting to Him.

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