Ephesians 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"
The fruit of the Spirit will not spring up into your heart and life overnight. It grows as you water and fertilize your soul daily with the Word of God.
Mature, godly men and women don't become that way in a day. There is no such thing as instant godliness. We live in a world of instant potatoes, instant oatmeal, instant grits (for you southern folk...LOL!!) and fast food drive-thrus. I guess we tend to think that things in our spiritual life should come as quickly. That just isn't how it is.
Galatians 5:16 tells us to "walk in the Spirit". How long does it take to learn to walk in the Spirit? How long does it take a baby to learn to walk? Some babies learn in eight months, some in ten months, some one year and some longer than that. You will not learn to walk in the Spirit in one day. It is a daily process. It starts when you take the first step. Just as that baby's confidence in walking grows after many times of stumbling, falling and getting up again...its the same way that we grow in our confidence in God to help us learn to walk in the Spirit.
What does being Spirit-filled or Spirit-controlled mean? Does it mean that we get more and more of the Holy Spirit? No....if you are born-again you got all the Holy Spirit you were gonna get when you got saved. The filling or controlling of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit getting more of you. This happens as we yield our lives to Him. This is God's will for each of our lives. He wants to control us.
Ephesians 5:18-21 (18) "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" (19) "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" (20) "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" (21) "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." People identify a person who is drunk with wine by that person's actions. The same is true of a person controlled by the Holy Spirit. That person will be identified by their actions.
A person who is drunk with wine:
The alcohol controls them and the results are in impaired judgment.
A person who is filled with the Spirit:
The Spirit controls them and the results are in improved judgment.
We can be controlled by the Holy Spirit by doing these four things each day...(1) keep Christ in the center of our lives...(2) stay in God's Word...(3) keep a yielded and submissive spirit...(4) resist temptation to sin and choose to do right.
How filled we are with the Holy Spirit rests solely on us. He wants to fill us. We hinder His filling us. He desires to fill us every day...not today and then take a break from His fullness tomorrow.
A person can know when they are filled by the evidences mentioned in Ephesians 5:18-21...(1) you'll be joyful and want to fellowship with Him and others...(2) you'll have a heart filled with praise...(3) you'll have a thankful spirit...(4) you'll have a reverent and submissive spirit toward others.
Galatians 5:22-23 also list qualities that will be evident in the Spirit-filled person's life. I found this and thought it was good:
"The contrast between works and fruit is important. A machine in a factory works, and turns out a product, but it could never manufacture fruit. Fruit must grow out of life, and in the case of a believer, it is the life of the Spirit. The flesh produces 'dead works', but the Spirit produces living fruit. The old nature cannot produce fruit; only the new nature can do that."
I desire so much to be filled with the Spirit. This is a command for my life and yours...not a choice. But to be Spirit-filled means being completely emptied of self. As I go through my day after having thought I yielded my life completely to God...something happens in my day to show me I'm not completely emptied of self. Even a little self is too much self. Would you fill a cup with water that had even one speck of dirt in the bottom of it and offer it to someone to drink. Yet we expect God to fill us with even a speck of self in it and offer it to Him for Him to use us. Shame on us....NO!!....SHAME ON ME!!!