When I was a boy, I learned to bodysurf. When you are in the surf and a wave gets about eight to ten feet away, you turn in the direction of the wave and jump in the same direction, the wave catches you, and the ride begins all the way to the shore. Great fun!
However, if you just stand in the water, the wave passes right through you. If you begin to swim in any other direction, you will only go up and down with the wave. Only if you begin to move in the direction of the wave is any power transferred. The filling of the Spirit is the same.
Jesus promised, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth . . . you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:16–-17). From the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you forever, and thus you become the “temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you” (1 Cor 6:19).
The two commands in Ephesians 5:18 give opposite results, because the conjunction but always introduces the opposite of the first clause. The evil of drunkenness is the loss of self–control, but the filling of the Spirit results in more self–control. One aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is the empowerment of your will over the influence of the flesh.
We are to “stop abandoning ourselves to uncontrollable or immoral behavior” and to trust God to fill us with His power to overcome the flesh and to serve the needs of others.
All believers have the “fullness of the Godhead,” and “you are complete [filled] in Him” (Col 2:9–-10). You lack nothing of Him, but He may not have full control over you.
The verb “to be continually being filled” means to let His will consciously control you as you choose to obey His word intentionally, not going in a different direction and thus avoiding His power and blessing. Choose to walk in the Spirit’s direction today.
“Lord, as I step out to obey Your commands, I trust You for the power to keep obeying. Take control of my life by Your Spirit to conform me to Your Word.”