Full: Becoming More Like the Holy Spirit and Less Like You
I must confess my penchant for a Sonic Route 44 Diet Coke with vanilla and easy ice. I’ve tried to quit several times, but have failed miserably. I’m not addicted, but a couple times a week my car instinctively steers into the drive thru, as if on autopilot. But what I have no interest in is a Route 39, or 40, or 41. I have been known to send it back requesting that my beverage be FILLED with the full 44 ounces (as if the loss of a few ounces would matter).
Notice how often the Bible uses the same word “filled” with respect to the Holy Ghost:
Luke 1:15 – “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb…”
Luke 1:41 – “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…”
Luke 1:67 – “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied…”
Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…”
Acts 4:8 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel…”
Acts 4:31 – “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness…”
Acts 9:17 – “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost…”
Acts 13:9 – “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost…”
Acts 13:52 – “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost…”
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “filled” as “to put in as much as can be held or conveniently contained.” In other words, adding into a vessel so much of a thing that it cannot hold or contain any more of it. In the same manner, according to the scripture references above, we are to be completely consumed with the Holy Spirit to the point that there is literally no room for even the slightest increase. Now THAT’s what I call “filled.”
The references above also indicate that this filling is a specific occurrence at a specific time in the lives of these people. There are many good books and sermon series on this topic, and I will not dive any deeper into it at this time. But suffice it to say, the Bible is clear that being filled with the Holy Ghost is an active event that happens directly in you. It happened to John the Baptist, Elizabeth, Zacharias, Peter, John, Saul (who then became Paul), and the Disciples. Once this filling had occurred, their lives and ministries were never the same.
I have often said to people, “Tell me about your salvation experience.” I’m always blessed by the miraculous way God’s redeeming love reaches a heart. But I wonder if I should add, “Now, tell me about when the Holy Ghost welled up in you and began to run over the edges and spill out on all sides.” That’s even better than getting my full 44 ounces of Diet Coke!