Under The Influence
"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:1)
I was sitting in church Sunday morning, listening to our pastor preach about the Holy Spirit when he referenced this scripture out of Ephesians. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit.” I’ve either read or heard this scripture probably hundreds of times over the course of my life. But something jumped out at me during church, like it had never done before. Paul meant to put these two things together. This scripture was not just simply a command to a bunch of people who were partying too hard. What if he put these two statements back to back on purpose?
What happens when someone is under the influence of alcohol? Who you truly are begins to come out. Perhaps a person is opinionated, but keeps their opinions to themselves, because, they are well-mannered, and it would be impolite to share their opinions with the rest of the world. After a few too many drinks, this person begins to vocalize their opinions and perhaps even becomes outspokenly blunt, if not down right rude.
We are new creations in Christ Jesus. The old man is dead. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That's who you truly are if you are a Christian. What if we began to live daily under the influence of The Holy Spirit? I used to think getting “drunk in the Spirit” meant participating in a lively church service where people are laughing or speaking in tongues or any other number of things. There is a place for that, but what if the kind of “drunk in the Spirit” Paul means for us isn’t just those outward manifestations at all? What if it’s a way of life?
If we are truly living under the influence of the Spirit…if we are filled with the Spirit…if we are drunk in the Spirit, then we have no reason to be inhibited by all the trappings that so quickly hold us back from praying for others, or sharing the Gospel with others. We don’t have to be angry or lustful or unforgiving anymore. We are under the influence. We are behaving differently than we used to.
We must continually seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day. In the natural, the influence of wine only lasts a short time…so too, we cannot rely on just one experience with the Holy Spirit…We must daily be filled. Let us purpose in our hearts to be always under the influence… His influence! Who knows how God will use us when we surrender our mind, our will, and our very selves to Him?
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