Beyond the Broadcast: What Does Being “Filled with the Spirit” Mean?

  • What Does Being “Filled with the Spirit” Mean?
What Does Being “Filled with the Spirit” Mean?

“Our Father and our Saviour have not left us without a Comforter. Though the work of the Holy Spirit is not as well-known or well-articulated or defined as the work of the Father and Son, we do need to be aware of what the Spirit of God does and the role He plays—including the all-important subject of His filling." —Charles R. Swindoll

A gas-powered car won’t drive without fuel. No matter how new its engine, glossy its paint, or state-of-the-art its design; to achieve its purpose, fuel must power the engine to rotate the wheels and move the vehicle from point A to point B. Same with steam engines and heat. No heat—whether from coal or wood or oil—means no movement.

Just as humans designed these engines to run on fuel and heat, God designed people to run on fuel—physical and spiritual fuel. Water and food power our fleshly bodies. But what about our spirits? That’s where His Spirit comes in.

Relying on our own energy, we can’t drive ourselves in the way God intends. Rather, we must depend on fuel only He can give. While the “mind of Christ” shapes our perspective (1 Corinthians 2:16), the presence of the Holy Spirit abides with our spirit, enabling and empowering us to love as God loves (Romans 5:5).

The New Testament describes this spiritual combustion as “being filled with the Spirit.” Chuck Swindoll teaches us what this means as he walks through one of the most important biblical passages for living out the Christian life practically: Ephesians 5:15–21.

Many think the Spirit’s sole responsibility is to perform miracles, like when Peter commanded the paralyzed man to walk or when Paul touched a handkerchief that then healed any who grazed it. But these miracles do not occur in the everyday lives of most Christians. Instead, the normal activity of the Spirit comes in the form of divine enablement so you can live like Jesus every day. With that in mind, take a moment to pray for the Spirit’s enablement during this study—that you may profit from what you learn and use it to glorify Jesus in your life.

In Christ we have the key. With the Spirit, we have the fuel. His energy works far better than our own. Above, we discussed how that power flows through us and why it’s so vital that we rely on the Spirit every day. Because the world needs it and our joy depends upon it.

What Does Being ‘Filled with the Spirit’ Mean?” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series How Great Is Our God! You can stream this message online anytime at