How do you become a Spirit-filled Christian?

To be Spirit-filled means to be controlled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, but how do we get there? Although God does not give us a step-by-step “formula,” He does give us direction in His Word.

1. Sincerely desire to be filled and directed by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

You must want it.  If you don’t want the Lord to be in control, then it’s not going to happen.

2. Confess any unconfessed sin. Psalm 139:23

Sin hurts your fellowship with God, and until you confess that sin, your fellowship with God is damaged. If you are going to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you must be in fellowship with God so you can communicate with Him and be attentive to His guidance.

If there is an area of your life that you know you’re still in control of, confess it. Let it go. Admit to Him that you’ve been in control.

3. Yield every area of your life to Him. Romans 12:1-2

Hand every area of your life over to Him – relationships, finances, circumstances, work, family, and so on. You may not be aware of some areas that you need to surrender, but God reveals them to you little by little over time.

I told Bonnie that I wanted to give Christ control of my life, but I needed to clean up my life first so that I would stay off the “throne.” She gently told me to give Him control and let Him clean up my life as I surrendered to Him. If I waited until I knew I could stay off the throne, it would never happen. I listened to Bonnie’s advice and I’m so glad I did.

4. By faith, trust and believe that you are filled with His Spirit.

Trust that His Spirit is in control and empowering your life. Don’t go by feelings, but by the trustworthiness of God’s Word. He commands us to be filled with His Spirit in Ephesians 5:18. He has promised in 1 John 5:14-15 to answer all our requests which are in accord with His will. If you have asked Him to control and empower your life, then you can know that He has answered your prayer because it is in accordance with His will.

I remember that Sunday night in January at LSU when I went to my dorm room, got on my knees, and told God that I had made a mess of my life trying to run it on my own. I confessed and asked Him to take control of the throne of my life. I knew I couldn’t change my life – only He could do that as I yielded my life to Him. I didn’t feel any different that night, but I knew, according to His Word, that He was in control. He was Lord of my life.

That prayer changed my life as I began seeing the power of God work in me and through me. But it’s an ongoing process, not a once-for-all prayer that keeps Him on the throne. Next time we’ll talk about walking in the Spirit.

Do you need to step off the “throne of your life” and allow the Holy Spirit to direct and empower you?


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