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Filled with the Spirit

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2021 8:00 am

Filled with the Spirit

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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March 22, 2021 8:00 am

There's a lot in the Bible about the dangers of drunkenness. But in this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans will talk about one kind of "intoxication" that God actually endorses.

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God is looking for some intoxicated Christians. Dr. Tony Evans describes what it's like to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You won't walk like you normally walk, talk like you normally talk, act like you normally act, think like you normally think. Why?

Because you're under the influence. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. There's a lot in the Bible about the dangers of drunkenness, but today Dr. Evans talks about the kind of intoxication that God actually endorses.

Let's join him. We've talked about having the mind of the Spirit. We've talked about walking in the Spirit. In the Old Testament, God the Father is on the front page.

He's the headliner. In the Gospels, God the Son is the headliner, but in the church age, God the Holy Spirit is the headliner. It is called the New Covenant, and it is called the age of the Spirit. Your ability to function, my ability to function as a Christian, is tied to our relationship with the third member of the Trinity. Now, of course, through the death of Christ, we're brought into relationship with the Father because of the work of the Son, but our ability to function in history is tied to the work of the Holy Spirit and His activity in your life. To have the mind of the Spirit, we saw, is to get God's viewpoint on a matter, decide to respond as Christ would respond to that viewpoint, and then look to the Holy Spirit to enable you to pull off that divine perspective on that matter. Probably the most well-known verse in the Bible about the Holy Spirit is Ephesians chapter 5 verse 18.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation or deterioration, but be filled with the Spirit. Here the Apostle Paul says that so dominating is the work and role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today, we ought to be full of Him. You know, we've all talked about people being full of themselves.

When we talk about people being full of themselves, we talk about all they think about is them, that they are obsessed with who they are, so they are full of themselves. He says, I want you to be full of something, but it ain't you. He says, I want you to be full of the Holy Spirit.

You are to be absolutely controlled. One of the problems that we face is that we regularly walk in the flesh. That is, we walk according to our own human understanding, and we do not walk, that is, live our lives according to the Spirit.

God doesn't want a visitation, He wants a habitation. He wants you to be full of it, to be the dominating principle of your life. Now, why is the filling of the Spirit critical? Well, he introduces the filling of the Spirit in verse 15 when he says, be careful how you walk. Walk has to do with living your life. Don't walk as unwise making bad decisions. Walk as wise making good decisions.

Make the most of your time because the days are evil. So then, do not be foolish, which is the opposite of wisdom, but understand what the will of the Lord is. He says that the only way to live a wise life is to live a life in God's will. You must be committed to the will of God over and above your will.

Why? Because the Spirit's filling will only assist you in doing God's will. It will not assist you in doing your will if your will is opposed to God's will. Be not drunk with wine, but do get drunk. So I'm now giving you permission to become intoxicated. In fact, God is giving you permission to become intoxicated, but not with wine. God is looking for some intoxicated Christians. God is looking for some inebriated Christians, but not with wine. Be drunk, but not with wine, but be drunk by the Spirit. Be full of, under the influence of, under the control of. One of the reasons people get drunk, you acquire a taste, and of course you like the effect.

God wants you to, me to, acquire a new taste. One of the reasons many people drink is to let alcohol help them deal with stuff. People drink to cope. People drink to be dislocated from reality, to be taken to another realm temporarily, and then they get to the point where they become drunkards and they live in this other reality. They live to be drunk in order to escape pain, problems, difficulties. A social drinker gets a glass of wine every now and then with dinner. They drink socially, they don't get drunk. A lot of us sip the Spirit. We take an occasional taste, but not enough to get drunk, not enough to come under the influence of something else. You will see this influence taking you over, and you won't operate like you normally operate, because that's what happens when you come under the influence.

You won't walk like you normally walk, talk like you normally talk, act like you normally act, think like you normally think. Why? Because you're under the influence.

Well, that raises the question, doesn't it? How does a Christian get drunk spiritually? How do you become an intoxicated saint? You can leave here today and say, our pastor told us it's okay to get drunk, because the Scripture says it is, but just not with wine.

He says, be filled or under the influence of the Spirit. Well, last time I checked, there's only one way to get drunk. Drink. I don't think you get drunk by thinking about alcohol. I don't think you get drunk by watching commercials about alcohol. You don't get drunk by watching other drunk folk. And in fact, if my calculations are correct, the more you drink, the drunker you get. So the question on the floor is, how drunk do you want to get with the Holy Spirit? How intoxicated do you want to get?

Well, you got a drink to do that. Well, you say, well, wait a minute now, I know how to drink wine, but I don't know how to drink the Spirit, but I want to get drunk, okay? So everybody right now who wants to get drunk, Paul's going to tell you how to become a spiritual, inebriated Christian. He says in verse 19, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father, and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. He says if you want to get full of the Spirit, then you're going to have to become full of spiritual things.

If you want to become full of the Spirit, then you're going to have to become full of spiritual things. He names some of these things. He says these things include speaking to one another, but he's not talking about just talking. He says speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Why am I speaking to you and you speaking to me in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs? Because in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, guess what you're getting? You're getting God's perspective. Have you seen the book of Psalms? In other words, when I am to feed you and you are to feed me, God's perspective.

Why? Because the Spirit only fills the will of God. So you are to feed me and I am to feed you, which is why you can't be a lone ranger Christian, because if you by yourself, you have nobody to speak to you.

And if I'm by myself, I have nobody to speak to me. So what should be happening is speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and in other words, spiritual input. Always giving thanks to God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, always referencing God. So you're referencing God being subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Subject to who? Subject to somebody who's giving you spiritual input.

Not subject to one another, because remember, the Spirit only fills the will of God. If you want to go somewhere in your car, you need gas to get there. If there is no gasoline in your tank, you're not going nowhere in your car, because gas is the indispensable element needed for you to move from one location to another. There are places set up to give you what you need.

Gasoline stations. So you pull it to the gas station and you say to the attendant, if you're getting full service, fill her up, or you get out yourself and you pull the nozzle and you put it in and you begin to put gas in your tank. You can't sit home talking about filling up, because you're still gonna be empty as you can be. A lot of us are riding on empty, because we're not at the place that dispenses what you need. You're going to the wrong place for a fill-up to get to a destination you'll never arrive at, because the place you went doesn't have what your tank requires.

Even if you have a tank that's designed for unleaded, if you pull up to regular, you can fill it up, but you're gonna be chucking along, and a lot of us are ch-ch-chucking along, because the right stuff is not in the tank. When you pull up to the station, you gotta hang out there for a while in order to fill it up, because you gotta, you know, you gotta stand there and wait till the process has completed itself. And now you are full. You're full of fuel.

You're full of gasoline, and you are good to go. Have you ever been to church? Have you ever pulled up to the gas station called the church, and the church service filled you up? You just felt full, the music made you feel full, the songs, the hymns, the spiritual songs, the sermon made you feel full, and you felt full, and you were good to go.

You felt like, I can conquer the world. I can have victory over my problems, because I am full. I pulled up to the spiritual gas station, I got filled, and I am now full, and I'm gonna make it by Wednesday.

You're chucking along again. Well, let me explain how filling stations work. Once you leave, you lose. The moment you pull away from the filling station, dissipation sets in.

The gas begins to be eaten up by usage. You come to church, get full, cry, go through conniptions of every sort possible, but as soon as you walk out that door, the world, the flesh, and the devil don't start sucking up your filling. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to talk about how we can go through life without ever becoming unfilled as he continues this lesson from his series, Life in the Spirit, an eight-message collection that will answer your questions about the least understood member of the Trinity. You'll discover what it means to have God's Spirit living inside you and how His presence can change the way you think, feel, and live. You'll also learn to recognize how the Spirit is working within you to transform you, empower you, and give you victory. Find out how by requesting a copy of Life in the Spirit. We're making it available for a limited time as our thank-you gift when you make a donation to support the work of the alternative. And right now, as a special limited-time bonus, we'll also send you a copy of Tony's book that takes you on a journey through the eyes of the disciples called The Fire That Ignites. As we've been learning, the power of the Holy Spirit can bring wisdom, freedom, and joy to the Christian life, and this book reveals how it turned average men into bold believers who built the church and changed the world. Just visit us at to make the arrangements, or give us a call at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by 24-7 to help you with resource requests. Again, that's 1-800-800-3222.

I'll have our contact information for you again after part two of today's message and this. The biblical roles of husbands and wives, the source of our authority as believers, understanding the concept of grace, winning spiritual battles. They're all important subjects but seem as different as night and day.

Would it surprise you to know there's a common thread running through all four? You can discover what it is by taking the course on Ephesians in the Tony Evans Training Center. One by one, you'll dig into the powerful theme of this book and make new discoveries about what Jesus' death accomplished, how to maintain unity at home and at church, what spiritual armor is all about. The course includes custom content from Tony not available anywhere else. Work through it at your own pace.

Collaborate with other students. Get your specific questions answered through our online forum. Connect with the Tony Evans Training Center at It's like having a seminary on your smartphone or other device. Start today. Some people go to the bar to get filled, okay? They go to the bar and they get filled. Other folk go to the club and get filled, but there probably are a few people in here at one time in your life who carried your filling with you. You were not gonna allow yourself to be unfilled. So you had something in the desk, you had something in the dash, so that you could stay filled no matter where you were. What he is saying to you is, don't come to church on Sunday for a fill-up and then expect to travel all week long and not run on empty, because you got the world, the flesh, and the devil sucking up your filling.

You got to carry your tank with you. The Bible calls that abiding. Abiding. The filling of the Spirit is not an event, it's a relationship where the Holy Spirit is brought to bear on everything.

How? One, because you want the will of God, but you've just gotten the Holy Spirit's attention. You want to make most of the time, you want to make the best decision and the right decision, so if you're running on empty, the people who you're gonna talk to are gonna give you the will of God. They're not gonna give you the popular view, they're not gonna give you what everybody else would say, they're gonna give you the word, they're gonna speak to you in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and you're gonna submit yourself to one another.

Why? In fear of Christ, because it's connected with the will of God. If you go out every day and you say, God, today I want your will and I surrender my control to the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill your will, what you did was stick a nozzle in the tank, and if all during that day you become oriented toward the will of God, you are now filled with the Spirit.

And if you're filled with the Spirit, you will be intoxicated spiritually, so that the power of the Spirit will become operative in your life as a way of life and not as a weekly event. When you read the book of Acts, God told his disciples, he said, he said, I know y'all got all these plans, you want to do all this, but don't go nowhere till the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you. He said, why don't you go to Jerusalem and wait for him? They go to Jerusalem, and what do they do in Jerusalem?

Guess what they do? They worship. They prayed, and they went into God's presence. See, that's where prayer comes in, because you want to be full of the Spirit, so I'm talking to the Spirit about everything.

I'm talking to the Spirit. I was talking to a brother last night, and he wanted to know whether God wanted him to do something, and here was the phrase he used. He said, Holy Spirit, if this is what you want, this is what I need you to do. He called on the third member of the Trinity, because that's his job, to fill him with the direction about the decision.

He called on the Holy Spirit to intervene, and the Holy Spirit did intervene. See, what you need to understand is he does not want a visitation. He wants a habitation.

He doesn't want to visit. He wants to live there and operate there, and he wants this orientation about the will of God to be the dominating orientation of your life. The Bible says in Acts chapter 4, it says they went into God's presence, and they talked to God, and they worshiped God, and they praised God, and then they called on God the Holy Spirit, it says. They said, who by the Holy Spirit, and the Bible says, and the Holy Spirit filled the place, and the place shook. See, what we want is God when we want a blessing. Now, we want that. Bless me, bless me, bless me, bless me, bless me. That's a visitation.

God wants a habitation, and that means, God, I want your will regarding this matter. Now, let's talk, you and me, Holy Spirit. I had a dish that I had left out yesterday morning through observation. I learned that what you're supposed to do is soak it. So I turned on the hot water, and I soaked it.

Otherwise, I was gonna have to scrape it. I wasn't into that, so I soaked it. After letting it abide, I just let it sit there. I just let it rest in the right place.

I was able to slide off what I would otherwise have had to try to scrub off on my own. A lot of us have been scrubbing our lives and still can't get it right. God says, if I can just get you to hang out in the right place and stay there, then I'll slide some stuff that you've been trying to scrub yourself, but you must abide in my will.

The only way you get drunk is by drinking. God wants you to carry your bottle with you, only it's not with wine. It's with the Holy Spirit. God wants you to whip that baby out in your brown paper bag. Why do drunkards have a brown paper bag? Because they don't want you to see.

They don't want you to see what you're drinking. Well, when you're at work, folk won't know what you're doing when you call on the Holy Spirit to deal with that situation. The Holy Spirit will always keep that bottle full as long as He knows you want to become an intoxicated saint under His control. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about how to get filled and stay filled with the Holy Spirit. And he'll come back in just a moment with a final illustration to wrap up our lesson, so don't go away. If you want to learn more about how the Holy Spirit fills you, flows through you, guides you, and empowers you, then be sure to get a copy of Tony's eight lesson study called Life in the Spirit.

As I mentioned earlier, the complete Unabridged series is available on CD and digital download for a limited time, along with a special bonus book, The Fire That Ignites. They're all yours as our way of saying thank you when you make a contribution to support the important ministry of the alternative. Just drop by, where you can get all the details and make your donation before this special offer runs out.

Again, that's, or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where one of our helpful team members is ready to assist you. Dr. Evans has said that all of us are at one of three places in life. We're either being tested, just got through being tested, or are about to be tested. Tomorrow he'll explain how depending on the power of the Holy Spirit prepares us to succeed regardless of where we are.

You won't want to miss it. Right now, though, he's back with a final thought about what it feels like to be Spirit-filled. Athletes call it being in the zone. That's when everything's a-clicking. That's when everything, you in the zone, you know, every shot's going in, you know, you able to break tack, you in the zone.

You feel it. You in the zone. God has a zone. It's the Holy Ghost zone. God says He wants you living in the zone. He wants you operating in the zone and feel what it feels like to become an intoxicated Christian full of the Spirit. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-12 13:52:15 / 2023-12-12 14:00:53 / 9

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