Be half-filled with the Spirit

Being completely filled (controlled, dominated, etc.) by the Holy Spirit of God can be inconvenient and difficult. What if customarily you prefer to be filled with something else, perhaps yourself? What if you fear, with good reason, that the Lord of the Universe will guide you into personally-compromising places? Unfortunately, the Apostle Paul commands believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit (in Ephesians 5:18, in case you want a reference – which you might not need if you were planning to ignore it).

Today’s common heresy postulates that there can be a condition known as partial filling of the Spirit. That is, God controls certain parts of your life, depending on your preferences – usually the parts of your life that you already agree with God about. The other parts of you can be considered separately, without calling into question your relationship with God.

This heresy is especially useful for members of religious traditions that emphasize being filled with the Holy Spirit, because it explains why you aren’t filled with the Spirit just now. For other traditions, where being filled with the Holy Spirit is equated with your normal, non-threatening, churchly self, this heresy describes the typical Christian life. It would be nice to experience the normal Christian life, however.

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