A discussion of the Holy Spirit often leaves us dry because we fail to relate the filling of the Holy Spirit with practical areas in our lives. However, even a quick glance at Ephesians 5:17-6:18 reveals that the control of the Holy Spirit directly affects every major area of life. We will see eight reasons why a believer should be filled (appropriately translated controlled) with the Holy Spirit.
It is a command and affects my relationship to God (5:17,18).
Spirit control is not an option; it is a command. It is not just for church leaders or the spiritually elite but for all believers every day (continuous action). The only part of our lives God has promised to bless is that which is lived in the will of God, by the power of God, and for the glory of God. Living under the control of the Spirit is to live under the authority of God.
It affects my personal walk and inner joy (5:19-20).
Every believer will find he will be controlled by something. If not controlled by the Holy Spirit, he will be controlled by such things as worldly philosophies, emotions, or a selfish nature. Only a life controlled by God’s Spirit will produce joy, thankfulness, and submission in the inner man. In essence, we lose our song if we are not Spirit-controlled.
It affects my relationship with the body of Christ (5:21).
How easily we are offended or how quickly we rise up in a domineering spirit when our lives are not under the Spirit’s control! We lose our sense of teamwork, and the body of Christ becomes a collection of “lone rangers” or celebrities rather than a body of members serving one another in love.
It affects my relationship with my mate (5:22-33).
As a result of the Fall in our first parents, we now have corrupted leadership and corrupted followship. The only solution to the paralyzing effects of this disaster is for each partner to willingly submit themselves to the Spirit’s control in their respective roles. Marriage seminars can help, but the “good advice” of information will fall short without the “good news” of divine intervention through the work of God’s Spirit.
It affects my relationship with my children (6:1-4).
In his book, Generation at Risk, Fran Sciacca says, “Today’s youth are at risk simply because they have no satisfactory reason to live. This is just as true of Christian young people as of those outside the influence of Christianity.” Servant parents on duty for the King are God’s solution for this dilemma. The hearts of the parents must be controlled by God’s Spirit and turned toward their children in order for a God-centered life to be in their vision (Mal. 4:5-6).
It affects my witness in the marketplace (6:5-9).
If there is not control of the Spirit, people will not see the fruit of the Spirit, which dilutes our testimony in the workplace. No one is sure if the believer is a transformer or a conformer. The salt has lost its flavor and the light is under a bushel.
The enemy has an aggressive nature (6:10-18).
The next reason for Spirit control is found in our need to be able to stand against the wiles (strategies/methods) of the devil. He is both organized and energized, and, without the Holy Spirit’s direction and protection, our fleshly weapons will fail. We are to be reminded that the question is not if Satan is working but where is he working, for he is at work and only the Spirit-cad believer will stand.
God’s ministry network is strategic (6:19-24).
God is not nearly as interested in size as He is in “sort” (I Cor. 3:13) of ministry. Small, healthy ministries that intentionally network with other ministries become a powerful tool in God’s hands. Sometimes God simply wants a “Spirit-filled hinge” ministry to hook up with others. Paul only traveled alone once in his ministry, and while alone never started a church. Teamwork is God’s way. We must learn to view other ministries as companions and not competitors.
Friend, may I suggest you review the list and be convinced that the Spirit’s enablement/filling is an absolute for the victorious, God-honoring believer. If we are honest, we must admit we cannot afford to live one hour without being Spirit-filled. Welcome His presence, enthrone Him by choice, and walk in obedience to His instructions through God’s Word.
Joe Humrichous is the executive director of Paradigm One and Bible Prayer Fellowship. The message of the sufficiency of Christ for both the pastor and the local church was birthed during a time of brokenness in his early ministry. Now after 50 years in ministry, Joe is passionate to share this reality as it applies to corporate prayer and church leadership. He recently served as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Covington, Indiana. He and his wife Teresa have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.