II. BEING WILLING TO BE USED BY GOD
We should, however, say a word regarding the outward filling. [Actually, if from the beginning all those who are saved would be willing to abandon everything for the Lord to be used by Him, then upon being saved each one would be in a position to receive both aspects of the filling of the Holy Spirit simultaneously, as occurred in the house of Cornelius. We regret to say that today there are too few who are willing to be used by God upon being saved. Most people are satisfied with just possessing eternal life and not having to perish. They completely disregard God’s work and God’s plan; neither do they desire to have power to work for God and fulfill His plan.
Since man is so unwilling to be used by God, few obtain the outward filling of the Holy Spirit, causing this experience to become mysterious and rare. In fact, the outward aspect of the Holy Spirit is by no means more precious or more difficult to obtain than the Holy Spirit within, the only requirement being that we be willing to be used by God.]
III. THE WAY TO BE FILLED
A. By Thorough Confession
[In order to receive the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, we must first confess, repent, and accept the fact that Christ has died for us. Likewise, in order to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, we must first accept the fact that we have died with Christ. Then we must deal with sin, the world, the flesh, our self-opinion, and our natural ability, to the end that we may completely empty ourselves of these, allowing none of them to have any more place in us, but rather allowing the Holy Spirit to gain all the ground in us. If we will respond to the demand of the Holy Spirit, removing that which must be removed and forsaking that which must be forsaken, thus emptying ourselves and letting the Holy Spirit have all the ground and authority in us, then automatically the Holy Spirit will fill us, and we will subjectively experience and enjoy the infilling of the Holy Spirit.]
We all must make a thorough confession. We must come to the Lord, not occupied by so many things or persons. We should come simply to contact Him and be filled with Him. As we do, the first thing that will come up will be our sin. We will have a deep sensation that we are not right in a certain matter. As you confess, another matter may come up. Upon confessing again, a third will arise, then a fourth, and so on. Without such a time you probably could not realize how many sins you have.
We must get fully cleared up through prayer by confessing all our failures, wrongdoings, mistakes, sinful things, offenses, etc. If we have not gone to the Lord in this way for some time we may need one or even two hours to be fully cleansed. We may even need to make right any offenses with others or debts that we have accumulated. We all need to have this kind of experience.
After such a thorough confession we will be filled with the Spirit. We do not need to speak in "tongues." Neither should we wonder what will happen or how we will feel when we are filled inwardly and outwardly with the Spirit. We should just go to the Lord again and again. Every day you need this kind of clearing up. Pray, "Lord, cleanse me. Clear me up. I would like to pour out my dirt, my junk and give you all the space in me." If you would do this each day, the infilling and outpouring of the Spirit will be so fresh in your experience.
B. By Speaking
After Ephesians 5:18 says, "Be filled in spirit," verse 19 continues, "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." [Right after "be filled in spirit" you have the word "speaking." This kind of phrase could be considered as a modifier. "Speaking to one another" modifies "be filled." How could you be filled? It is by speaking. By speaking, you will be filled in your spirit. But is it by speaking to one another in murmuring? Gossip? World news? America today? School? Family? Computers? Master’s degree? Doctor’s degree? Speaking in what? Speaking in psalms, long pieces like Psalm 119 which has 176 verses of 22 sections according to the Hebrew alphabet.]
[Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are not only for singing and psalming, but also for speaking to one another. Such speaking, singing, and psalming are not only the outflow of being filled in spirit, but also the way to be filled in spirit. Psalms are long poems, hymns are shorter ones, and spiritual songs are the shortest. All are needed in order for us to be filled with the Lord and to overflow with Him in our Christian life.
According to the New Testament, psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs are good not only for singing, but also for speaking. Sometimes we are inspired by singing. But on other occasions, speaking that is filled with pneuma may be more inspiring than singing. If we are flat, short of pneuma, then our speaking will afford no inspiration. But if we are full of pneuma, then our speaking will have impact and will inspire others. This is not eloquence; it is utterance with impact.]
(Lesson Book, Level 3: Two Spirits—Two Spirits - the Divine Spirit and the Human Spirit, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)