Keeping Filled with the Spirit of God
“SO KEEP strict watch that how you walk is not as unwise but as wise persons, buying out the opportune time for yourselves, because the days are wicked. On this account cease becoming unreasonable, but go on perceiving what the will of Jehovah is. Also do not be getting drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but keep getting filled with spirit.” Thus the apostle Paul counsels us at Ephesians 5:15-18.*
Why do we as dedicated Christians need to heed this counsel to keep getting filled with God’s spirit? Because we have a great work to do, that of making known Jehovah’s name and kingdom earth-wide. And this work is not only being opposed by the whole world, its political, commercial and religious leaders together with their supporters, but is also being opposed by Satan and his unseen demons, even as Paul shows at Ephesians 6:12. On the other hand, this work is being done by a comparatively few who are imperfect, poor and weak. Only by the help of God’s spirit could we accomplish this work, even as we read: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah.” More than that, if we keep getting filled with God’s spirit our relations with our brothers will be loving and harmonious and we will be happy, for the fruitage of this spirit is “love, joy, peace,” etc.—Zech. 4:6, AS; Gal. 5:22.
What must we do to keep getting filled with spirit? First of all, we must keep taking in knowledge of God and Christ by personal study of the Bible, and not only of the Bible itself, but with the help of Bible-study aids, for unless we understand what we are reading we will not receive holy spirit from our study. More than that, we should also meditate upon what we have studied so as to appreciate and remember it better.
To keep getting filled with spirit we must also associate with others who have God’s spirit. It is especially present when God’s people come together, even though they be only two or three, as Jesus indicated. Also, by coming together we build one another up, thereby getting more of God’s spirit.—Matt. 18:20.
Another great aid in getting filled with spirit is prayer. As Jesus said: “If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” And not only asking once, but as Jesus also stressed, “Keep on asking, and it will be given you.”—Luke 11:13; Matt. 7:7.
However, study, meditation, association and prayer are not enough. We must supplement and complement all these by consistent works, even as Paul wrote to the Galatians: “Did you receive the spirit due to works of law or due to obedient hearing by faith?” Yes, while works of the Law are not necessary, we must prove our faith by our works to receive holy spirit. That includes, above all else, diligence in the Christian ministry, preaching the Word as we have opportunity.—Gal. 3:2.
Since “bad associations spoil useful habits,” to keep getting filled with the spirit we must keep separate from this old world. And finally, since by works of the flesh we grieve God’s spirit, we must strip off the old personality and put on a new one, one that resembles Christ and that is renewed by accurate knowledge of God’s Word.
In all such ways we will keep getting filled with God’s spirit.
For details see The Watchtower, July 15, 1957.