Scripture clearly teaches the Spirit-filled life and yet there is mystery and misunderstanding about this phenomena. To help us better understand what it means to be vessels for the Holy Spirit, consider the experience of Mary and how she quite literally was filled with Christ as she became the mother of our Lord.
In Mathew 1:18-24 notice first THE OPPOSITION TO THE CHRIST-FILLED LIFE. Joseph and Mary were about to get married, but she became pregnant. Understandably Joseph was ready to quietly call off their engagement. Don’t be surprised when good people oppose what they perceive is religious fanaticism. “Filled with the Spirit?” they may ask. “Isn’t that a bit extreme?” The world accepts cold religion, but despises spiritual vibrancy. Mark it down: the world, the devil, and the flesh resolutely oppose the Spirit-filled life. Anyone who desires the Christ-filled life should expect conflict.
Second, notice THE MOTIVATION FOR THE CHRIST-FILLED LIFE. The angel spoke to Joseph in a dream and told him to continue his engagement with Mary. As the angel explained God’s plan to Joseph he mentioned two names for our Lord. These names explain why the Christ-filled life is important for every believer.
“Call His name Immanuel which is translated God with us” (verse 23). The first reason to desire the Christ-filled life is to enjoy the presence of God. To get to God one no longer has to go to a church or see a pastor, or even wait until heaven. Because of the Christ-filled life every believer can enjoy the refreshing presence of the Lord daily, personally, and intimately.
“Call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (verse 21). The second reason to desire the Christ-filled life is to enjoy victory over sin. Every Christian wants to live a good, clean, holy life; yet godliness is elusive and difficult to maintain. Living the Christian life is humanly impossible. The only way to live an upright life is with the assistance of the indwelling Lord. He is holy and helps us live holy also.
Spiritual intimacy and moral victory are but two reasons every Christian should earnestly seek the Christ-filled life despite whatever opposition rises.