This is one of those key passages of Scripture that touches at the heart of Christianity. We often say that our faith is more than a religion. It is a relationship with God, and particularly with the Lord Jesus Christ. We were saved by Him and He came to live in our lives in the person of the Holy Spirit. Christian living is nothing less than Jesus Christ living His life in and through the Christian. And that can only happen when the Holy Spirit has complete control of the Christian's life.
That brings us to this verse. Its no error that God chose to compare being filled with the Spirit of God with being drunk with wine. Yes, it is a HUGH contrast and one would wonder what is God seeking to tell us. Probably the best way this has been described is to consider what happens when a person gets drunk. They willfully take alcohol and keep consuming it. It is a conscious decision a person makes. Then, the effects take over. They lose control of themselves and the wine's influence takes over how they think, how they act, and quite literally, how they walk! Most people who have experienced that feeling know how ashamed they are after they sober up. They not only think of the foolish things they said, but perhaps some of the awful tragic things they did while drunk. They regret what they did and they wish they would never do that again. Now, much more could be said, but let's move on to the other picture given in this verse.
Being "filled with the Holy Spirit" is having Him do exactly what wine's influence did. As a "drunk" willfully drinks, so the Christian has to willfully know they already have the Holy Spirit living in them. Learning about the Holy Spirit allows the Christian to be aware of His presence in their life and the kind of influence the Spirit can have over them. First, the Spirit takes control of the believer's life. He directs how they think, how they act, and He guides them in how they walk as a Christian. Instead of being ashamed, the Christian rejoices in the outcome of the Spirit's control. The Christian doesn't have to regret anything but is blessed to know they their lives have been put to meaningful service for the Lord. And when a Christian experiences that they want to make that a daily way of life! They are filled not only with joy, but also all the other aspects of the "fruit of the Spirit" mentioned in Galatians 5:22,23.
How can one be filled with the Spirit? I'm going to suggest that we first have to believe this can happen to us! God didn't say to do something that He knew couldn't happen! He wants us to take this command and obey it with faith believing that we can see this happen in our lives. Second, we need to recognize the Word of God and prayer are two of the most important elements in the Christian's life that the Holy Spirit uses to bring us to the place of being filled by Him. Read and study His Word daily especially concentrating of passages like John 14-16 where Jesus speaks of His sending the Spirit to us. Third, we need to consciously yield control to the Spirit in prayer. I might suggest this prayer, "Lord Holy Spirit, fill me with Yourself. Take control of my life and help me to depend on you in every circumstance and situation of my life. Thank you for answering this prayer."
The Holy Spirit wants to fill us. Do we want Him to?