Growing up being filled with the spirit meant speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit (what in the world is that?). That doesn’t sound good. Shouting and dancing was another way of being filled with the spirit. Tarrying was another form of trying to be filled with the Spirit. That was alot of work and self effort. Being fill with the spirit phrase only appears in Acts and Ephesians. But those verses doesn’t provide the “how to”. There are many beliefs about being filled with the Spirit. The question is, which one is the right one? Why don’t we let the bible speak on the subject.
In Acts, the apostles and others as being filled with the Spirit, but they don’t teach us the how to be filled. There is only one epistle that urges us to be filled with the Spirit and that is found in Ephesians 5:18. However Paul gives us the clearest explaination of what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Its found in Ephesians 3:18,19 which says May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. So Paul is saying that being filled to the fullness of God is about knowing God’s love.
Let me share with something from the book Relaxing with God. I’m not negating that God did some spectacular things among those in Scripture who were ‘filled with the Spirit, ‘ and he still does today! I’m simply pointing out what ‘filled with the Spirit” means form Paul’s viewpoint in Ephesians, which is the only epistle that tells us to be filled. Sure, various people in Acts spoke and acted while inspired by the love of God. But the events themselves were not what ‘being filled” was about. Apparently, from God’s perspective, being ‘filled with the Spirit” (knowing his love) is needed even to wait on tables: ‘Brothers and sisters, chose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility [serving food] over to them” (Acts 6:3).
So maybe being filled with the Spirit isn’t about speaking in tongues or falling out or shouting or even visible displays of power. Maybe this power that Paul talks about in Ephesians is the power to grasp the greatness of God’s love. (Ephesians 3:17,18). JUST A THOUGHT!