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Understanding what Spirit Filled Means

by Greg Baker  
11/27/2010 / Bible Studies

Being filled with the Spirit is not the same as the indwelling of the Spirit or the baptism of the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 was written to the Christian, not the unsaved. It says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"

I do believe, however, that the gifts of the Spirit are directly tied to being filled with the Spirit. But that is beyond the scope of this article. Being filled with the Spirit is a continuous thing. The verb 'filled' in Ephesians 5:18 means 'to be continuously filled'. The implication is that there are times when you are more filled with the Spirit than at other times.

The purpose of being filled with the Spirit is to do the Lord's work. We must have the power of the Holy Spirit. To serve God in the flesh instead of the Spirit is to deprive us of the power of our service. It is important to be filled with the Spirit to do God's work.

We will take a balloon to illustrate this truth. The word 'spirit' in Scripture is also the word 'breath' or 'wind'. A balloon full of air will illustrate a Christian full of the Holy Spirit. You may want to get a balloon to help yourself visualize this better.


Blow a balloon all the way up and then let it go. Notice the force and power of that balloon. When a Christian is full of the Spirit, we can do a lot for Jesus Christ! But that 'breath' or 'wind' is spent and we need to be filled again!

Going to God in prayer, to your Bible for wisdom, and thinking about the things of God daily is the process by which we are filled, our spiritual balloon filled with the breath of God! Read Romans 8:1-10.


Blow your balloon up just a bit. Now let it go. Notice that the force and impact of the balloon was significantly less than that of a full balloon. In fact, we would say it was more of a dud.

This illustrates the Christian who only reads his Bible on occasion, or prays on occasion, or only focuses on God during Church but not the rest of the week. He has some power, but nothing significant. He is mostly ineffectual. His mind is not on Christ. His purpose is not the will of God. He may love God, believe in Jesus, but does not do much for Christ.

Some who are this way used to be full. They did a lot for Christ and are content with that. That is a shame. The Scriptures tell us we need to be continuously filled up!


Blow your balloon all the way up and then tie it off. This represents a Christian who has filled up on the Spirit of God, but then grieved the Holy Spirit of God!

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

When we ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit, when we refuse to submit to the will of God, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We may have been in our Bible, seeking God in prayer, faithful to Church, and singing hymns and spiritual songs. But when we refuse to do the work, all that power goes to waste!

Notice what happens to a tied-off balloon over time. It begins to lose its 'breath'. It begins to shrink, to slowly die. This is what happens to a Christian who will not yield themselves to the will of God.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.


Blow your balloon all the way up and take a pin and pop it. This serves to illustrate the Christian who may have been filled with the Spirit and then performs a deliberate, intentional, rebellious sin.

1 Thess 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

It is amazing how much hard work for the Lord can be undone by a single sin. Sin can poison your mind, derail your service for the lord, destroy your dreams, ruin your family, and empty your spirit all at once.

It is dangerous, deadly.


I hope the balloon illustration served to make what it means to be filled with the Spirit more understandable. Every Christian should seek to constantly be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

This spiritual filling allows us to do supernatural work in a mundane body.

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