Why We Need to Be Filled with the Spirit

Learning how to get filled with the Spirit is one of the most important truths in the Bible because it is how we enter into the realm of God. In the great battle of the last days, every believer needs to know how to enter into the Spirit realm and operate in it because this is the key to plundering the devil’s kingdom. Only in the Spirit realm can we tap into the limitless resources of God to meet every human need, heal every sickness, and establish the kingdom of God in the earth. Yet very few ministries teach about getting filled with the Spirit. As a result, very few believers know anything about it. And if we don’t know how to get filled then how can we know how to flow and operate in the realm of the Spirit?

One reason why this topic gets so little attention is because very few American churches even believe in being filled with the Spirit. The majority of American church consist of traditional mainline denominations like Methodists, Baptists, Catholics and Presbyterians. You surely won’t hear much teaching in these churches about getting filled with the Spirit because it goes against their church doctrines. Then there are the so-called Spirit-filled churches, which in some cases might also be part of a mainline denomination but not usually. Even in these churches, the leaders rarely teach their people how to get filled with the Spirit. If the topic comes up at all it is usually made fun of and maligned as being something only flaky people do. So the condition of the American church is not good. Very few people are learning how to get filled with the Spirit.

In military terms, this is the strategic high ground. Whoever takes this position has a tremendous advantage in the battle. For this reason, our adversary, the devil, vigorously defends this ground to keep you away. He knows he can easily defeat you if he can keep you from tapping into the realm of the Spirit. Satan spreads lies and confusion to keep you away. Anyone who breaks through and begins to tap into this realm becomes a target for the devil’s legions of demons. In many cases, people who learn to get filled with the Spirit are kicked out of their church or at least informed they better keep a lid on it. The devil will do anything to try to discredit anyone who learns how to operate in this realm to keep other believers from following them. Sadly, Satan uses other believers to do his dirty work for him. We are in the midst of the greatest war of all time and this topic is one of the most critical battlegrounds.

The most powerful weapons for fighting the devil are in the realm of the Spirit. This is why the devil is determined to keep us out. The Bible tells us the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they do not come from our human strength or abilities, they are mighty through the Spirit of God for the pulling down of the strongholds of the evil one.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 2nd Corinthians 10:3-4

Satan uses natural human reasoning to steer us away from being filled with the Spirit. We all know God loves people and God wants us to do whatever we can to help others. This is a great spiritual truth that also makes perfectly good sense to our natural understanding because acts of service for others are done in the natural realm where everyone can see them and appreciate them. Even the most unspiritual person understands the value of doing good deeds for others. However, getting filled with the Spirit is completely beyond the natural realm so naturally minded, carnal minded cannot see what is happening and they do not understand or appreciate it. So one of the devil’s favorite tactics is to get believers to choose between the two. He knows most believers already have a far higher understanding and appreciation for good deeds so by presenting it as a choice between the two he knows most believers will agree they should focus their efforts on doing good deeds rather than wasting time getting filled with the Spirit.

I have often heard ministers in so called Spirit-filled churches tell their congregation they need to stop soaking in the Spirit so they can start helping God’s people, as if these two are mutually exclusive. These ministers make comments like, “It is time to get up off of the carpet so you can start getting busy doing something for God!” I believe these comments are inspired by the devil because the Spirit of God would never tell anyone to stop getting filled with the Spirit because that would contradict the scriptures. Besides the scriptures already listed, many more are listed in the following paragraphs.

Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to stop being filled with the Spirit for any reason. Acts 6:4 tells us the leaders of the early church once made a choice between serving and soaking, but some ministers today would be confounded by their choice because they decided to do more soaking and less serving! The early church leaders knew they would ultimately do more to advance the kingdom of God by designating other people to perform the necessary deeds of service so they could be freed up to devote more of their time “to prayer and to the ministry of the word”.

Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:1-6 NASB)

The leaders of the early church knew they had to devote their time to doing things that would allow them to stay filled up with the Spirit. The two things they wanted were more time for prayer and the ministry of the word. They understood these were the keys for getting themselves filled with the Spirit. So they sought out people to perform the needed acts of service, but they required that those people be “full of the Spirit”! So the chose Stephen because he was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”. The leaders clearly understood the importance of getting filled with the Spirit. They were not telling anyone to stop getting filled. They were not ridiculing people for getting filled.

Scripture instructs us to do both, be filled with Spirit and serve the Lord. In fact, you cannot be effective in doing good deeds or in doing anything for God without first entering into the realm of God and allowing God to fill you with His Spirit. Getting filled with the Spirit does not hinder anyone from serving God, it makes them far more productive.

Over the past few days I have been listening to teachings from one of my favorite ministries on the topic of serving God by doing acts of service in the local church. After listening to a few messages from this series, I turned it off because I was tired of hearing the same message over and over. I got tired of the endless of mantra of how we need to serve God without any mention of how we need to be filled with the Spirit to help make us better servants. This minister was saying just the opposite. He said we should stop getting filled with the Spirit so we could have more time to serve God. He presented it as a choice between one or the other, making it sound like people were neglecting to serve God because they were too busy getting filled with the Spirit.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there is a famine in the church when it comes to getting filled with the Spirit. People are spending far too little time getting filled with the Spirit because so few of our leaders are teaching people why they need to get filled or how to do it.

Perhaps church leaders have avoided this topic because it sounds ‘spooky’ to them, but it only sounds that way because they know nothing about it. It goes beyond the natural realm, the realm we all know so well, so it goes beyond our comfort zone. Any carnal minded person can grasp the idea of doing good deeds, serving one another. That concept is easy for anyone to grasp and appreciate because it is all done in the natural realm. But carnal minded people often choke when presented with spiritual concepts like getting filled with the Spirit. It takes courage and conviction for a leader to even talk about these things because the risk of losing people is much greater. So this topic gets far too little attention.

As a result, the church has allowed the enemy to capture this strategic high ground. The devil is preventing people from learning how to get filled with the Spirit or learning why they need to get filled with the Spirit. As a result, there is a severe famine of Spirit filled people in the church. The church is being seriously hurt by this famine because the riches of the kingdom that should be flowing into the church are being blocked because people don’t know how to enter into the realm of the Spirit to take what rightfully belongs to them and bring those things into the earth realm.

If people truly were getting filled with the Spirit, there would be no need to tell them they need to do more serving because people who are filled with the Spirit are already filled with the eagerness to serve God. They love serving God because they have the Spirit of God inside them causing them to love doing what pleases Him.

As this minister put it, “We are saved to serve, not to soak.”

Excuse me sir, but where is that found in the Bible? It is not there. We do not have to choose between one or the other. It is possible to serve without getting filled with the Spirit but your service will be very limited and probably not the specific service God created you to do. If you get filled with the Spirit and stay continually filled, your serving will take care of itself and will be more productive and on target with what God wants from you.

Yes it is good and scriptural to perform acts of service for God and we should do that, but there seems to be a never ending mantra of calls from church leaders telling us to stop getting filled with the Spirit so we can have more time to serve God. Instead, the message we need to hear is the exact opposite. We need more teaching on how to enter into the realm of the Spirit so we can get filled with the Spirit and wage war against the enemy with what the Apostle Paul called ‘divinely powerful weapons’. Getting filled with the Spirit causes us to be filled with the sincere desire to serve God as He puts it in our hearts to do His will.

Church leaders seem determined to produce more Marthas and fewer Marys. These two sisters both welcomed Jesus into their home but they had very different priorities on how to serve Him.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Martha was so focused on performing acts of service that she forgot the most important thing. She saw Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and became angry that Mary was not helping her with the preparations. Martha was so sure she was right she even asked Jesus to rebuke Mary and tell her to get busy. Instead, Jesus rebuked Martha for forgetting the one thing that is necessary. Jesus recognized the value of what Mary was doing. It was not Mary who was wasting her time, it was Martha.

Church leaders have put the cart before the horse. They have failed to recognize that the best way to get people to perform more acts of service for God is by first getting them to understand the value of spending time with Jesus. Only by entering into His presence can we into the Spirit realm where we can be filled up. Acts of service follow as a by-product of that encounter. Getting filled with the Spirit, and especially getting drunk in the Spirit causes us to flow right into the work of the kingdom because the Spirit of God in us overflows into everything we do.

Spending time sitting at the feet of Jesus is where we belong. It is not a waste of time. It does not hinder us from serving, it propels us into it with passionate desire that permeates every fiber of our being.

We must judge everything we hear to make sure it agrees with scripture, even if we are hearing it from our pastor. God will hold each of us accountable for knowing His word and obeying it. Being led astray by a minister will not be an acceptable excuse on the day we give God an account for our life.

The scriptures clearly instruct us to be filled with the Spirit. The scriptures never tell us to choose between serving and soaking. You should tune out and disregard anyone who suggests you need to stop being filled.

The scriptures shown in the following paragraphs instruct us to continually get filled with the Spirit. This does not happen to anyone automatically. It requires you to make an effort to get filled. It requires you to spend time getting filled on a daily basis. God wants you to get filled with His Spirit because He knows that when you do you will begin to want the same things He wants. You will be a far better servant when you are filled up to the point of overflowing with the Spirit of God. That is when your life begins to overflow into acts of service for others.

Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus telling them to be filled to all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19). How filled would you be if you were filled to all the fulness of God? That sounds very filled to me. Does that sound like a warning to avoid spending time being filled with the Spirit? I don’t think any of us are in danger of surpassing that level, getting too filled, getting more than the fulness of God. Sounds like it would require a whole lot of filling to be filled to all the fulness of God. In fact, the fulness of God sounds unlimited.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he commanded his followers not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised.

“Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now …you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-5, 8)

Notice the sequence of these events. First the disciples had to receive power before they could get started serving the Lord. The power they needed was going to be given to them when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Then, once they had that power, they could be His witnesses in every part of the earth. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, they had no power to get the job done in their own strength or abilities. All of the power they needed was in the Spirit realm and had to be transferred from the Holy Spirit onto them.

Even though the disciples had a big job to do, Jesus told them to spend their valuable time staying in Jerusalem, just waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. If it were up to modern day ministers, the disciples would have been told to stop wasting their time hanging around in Jerusalem because there was a great big job to be done so they better get started serving the Lord right now. They would have been told, “Look guys, stop waiting around and start witnessing.”

Jesus knew they would be totally ineffective for the work of the kingdom until they were filled with the Holy Spirit. So in Acts 2:4, their waiting was over. They had not wasted one single minute because they received what Jesus commanded them to receive.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost but they did not stop getting filled after that. Acts 13:52 says the disciples were “continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Continually filled means they never stopped getting filled, they continued to get filled over and over again without interruption. They never had to choose between getting filled and serving the Lord. The never stopped soaking in more of the Spirit of God. They never stopped drinking the heavenly wine. If anyone would have tried to make them choose between serving and soaking, I believe they would have known better than to listen to them.

Their choice shows they recognized the importance of getting continually filled with the Spirit of God. The two things they devoted themselves to doing, prayer and the ministry of the word, were and still are the two best ways to get filled with the Spirit. Their approach worked. The first century church continues to be the role model for every later generation. We would be wise to follow their example.

The Apostle Paul was not present on the day of Pentecost because he was not a believer at that time. But later he became a believer and an effective minister because he learned to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him. (Acts 13:9)

Paul recognized it was important not just for himself to be filled with the Spirit, but for every believer. He wrote to the Ephesian church instructing them not to get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

So contrary to what many church leaders are teaching people today, the Bible clearly teaches the vital role of being continually filled with the Spirit. Church leaders teach that people who want to get filled with the Spirit and be led by the Spirit are just flaky Christians. But the really flaky Christians are the ones who ignore all of the above scriptures by not getting themselves filled with the Spirit and by telling others to stop getting filled.

We have established it is scriptural to continually drink and keep drinking in more of the Spirit of God. Don’t stop drinking until you reach the point of being filled with all the fullness of God, which is not going to happen in this lifetime. So drink up and get drunk!

Why is it so important to stay drunk in the Spirit? It is critical, absolutely essential for fulfilling your God-given purpose, your assignment, the specific plan that God has for your life, the one you will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment. Nothing is more important in this life than fulfilling your purpose. This is not the same thing as doing good deeds or helping other people. There are thousands of things you could do without ever fulfilling the specific plan, the detailed plan that God has for you. His plan is not only intricately detailed but also uniquely designed for you and only you. God will not hold you accountable for the countless other things that you could have done, but He will hold you accountable for completing His specific plan for your life.

No one can complete God’s plan for their life without being filled up with His spirit, without being soaked and saturated with His presence in them, without being drunk in the Spirit. Jesus explained it this way:

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

Unless you are filled with the Spirit, you are not plugged into the vine. Everything you need to complete your mission comes to you through the vine. If you are not connected and receiving continual downloads of power and life and instructions, you are going to fail at completing your God-given assignment.

When you are not filled with the Spirit, you are reduced to the same level as any ordinary unbeliever on the earth. Instead of tapping into the limitless resources of the Spirit realm, you become limited to the scarce resources of the natural realm. Instead of God’s supernatural ability, you are left only with your human abilities, which are not enough to accomplish what God wants you to accomplish.

Even if you are a believer, you still have the same flesh, the same carnal nature, the same natural desires as unbelievers. The only thing that makes you different from the heathens is having a different spirit, which is the Spirit of God living on the inside of you. But even then you must choose to submit to you Spirit and not to your carnal nature. Otherwise you will act just like carnal unbelievers, following the same carnal appetites, fulfilling the desires of your flesh just like they all do.

The world is full of carnal believers. They are easy to find because they are the ones who claim to know God yet they are living in immorality, adultery, fornication, stealing, lying and on and on.

I have owned my own business for the past 15 years and have employed many believers. I am very thankful to have some of the finest Christians working for me. The lady who handles all of the business finances is honest and trustworthy. I never have to worry about her stealing our money because she has the learned how to stay filled with Spirit of God.

However, over the years I have been amazed by the way some of our other employees have behaved. I am talking about people who called themselves Christians. But when money was involved they acted more like devils than saints. We had to fire one so-called Christian for stealing money from us. When we caught her, she did not apologize. She stormed out with a stinky attitude. We have had other so-called believers who have made up bold-faced lies about us to try to qualify for unemployment benefits that they did not actually qualify to receive. I have been amazed at the lengths some of them have gone to get more money.

Believers who are not filled up with the Spirit, who don’t know how to get drunk in the Spirit, are likely to act just like heathens, which is just like demons. Any believer is capable of acting like a demon unless they stay filled up with the Spirit of God. This applies to me too!

Every believer needs to be filled with the Spirit every day. You might have been filled last month or last week or even yesterday, but you need to get filled up again today. You need a fresh encounter with God each day. You need another drink.

It is a lot like the manna that fell from heaven to feed the Israelites in the wilderness. The manna was only good for one day. They were instructed not to store any for the next day but to trust God for fresh manna to be given to them the next day. So every believer needs a fresh filling, a fresh encounter with God, every day.

We are so used to thinking about getting drunk in a negative context because that is what we hear about most often. But getting drunk from alcohol consumption is just the devil’s counterfeit for the real thing. Alcohol can destroy your life and cause you to hurt or even kill other people, but getting drunk in the Spirit helps you to fulfill God’s plans for your life and causes you to be a blessing to others.

Why do you have to get drunk in the Spirit to fulfill God’s plan? Because while God’s plan for every person is unique He always has the same ultimate goal, which is to advance the kingdom of God in the earth. The Bible says the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

So here is the problem. How can you give to others what you don’t have?

You can’t help someone else financially when you are bankrupt. You first have to get access to an abundant supply. It works the same way with spiritual things.

The kingdom of God is filled with riches that can be a big help to people. The riches of God’s kingdom include financial provision but much more than that. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). These are things all of us desperately need.

Everybody needs peace because the alternative is worry, anxiety and fear. Peace on the inside brings health to your body while worry, anxiety and fear will make your body sick and cut your life short. Drunk people don’t worry about anything. They are so full of peace they sometimes just go ahead and pass out.

Everybody needs joy because the alternative is sadness and misery. The Bible says a merry heart is good for you, like medicine (Proverbs 17:22). We were designed by God to be full of joy, not sadness. We are not designed to handle a sad life. Drunk people are joyful to the point of acting silly. They have so much joy they even make sober people laugh.

It might not be as obvious but everyone needs righteousness, the confidence to know you are in right relationship with God. The Bible says you can add years to your life by living a righteous life, obeying God’s commandments (Proverbs 3:2). How blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times! (Psalm 106:3)

Everyone on planet earth needs all of these things but not everyone has them. People are seeking these things in the wrong places. They are not found in the natural realm or in any human abilities. They do not come from this world system, which is ruled by the devil.

God is the only source where we can find true righteousness, peace and joy. God has an abundant supply of these things and wants us to have them but we must come to Him on His terms and take what He wants us to have. To qualify, we must first invite His Spirit to come and live in us making Him our Lord. But even then we do not automatically receive the riches of His kingdom because there are things we must do to receive from God. We must take hold of the things He wants us to have. We must tap into the realm of God, the realm of the Spirit, because that is where we can have access to all the things of the Spirit. We must learn how to enter into that realm and receive from God. We must learn how to drink and be filled with the Spirit of God until we are drunk with His Spirit.

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