Drink more Spirit and less wine! An odd statement by the Apostle Paul:
Do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:17-18 ESV
Paul is comparing “drinking too much wine” that leads to “debauchery” (mess ups in your life that are unrecoverable), with being full or overflowing in the Spirit.
Be filled with God’s Spirit! Something that should happen continually.
Yesterday’s drink of the Spirit, like yesterday’s food, needs to be replenished today. Nothing much will happen in following Jesus if you are not filling yourself with God’s Spirit.
Do you know how to be filled with the Spirit?
First, consider what fills you. In a sense “what you are full of” – is it from desire or the Spirit? You cannot have a diet of both. If you are eating sensuality as your diet it will take over and you will lose control.
What dominates your thoughts indicates what fills you. Paul writes about your drinking habits in Galatians 5:
Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior. Galatians 5:19-21 TPT
I can sense what fills people. I can sense self-promotion, arrogance, and sensuality. I think that you can too if you just listen to conversations and be quiet in God’s Spirit. Alcohol can permeate through the flesh and stink. Anger is heard through speech and intimidation. Manipulation expressed through the eyes gives you a sense of unease.
Second, what are your choices? Dumb behavior comes from intoxication. The word “debauchery” is a concept of making life choices that mess things up. A life of debauchery means divorce, addiction, and ruin. We make our life-giving or death-dealing decisions according to decisions based upon our “filling.”
Flesh = it can’t be fixed. Spirit = grace, mercy, and recovery!
Jesus describes drinking the Spirit:
Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds – “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” John 7:37-38 TPT
It is easy to note when you drink a glass of wine. More difficult to know is when you are drinking the Spirit. Adding to the complication, we tell ourselves we are drinking the Spirit when we are drunk with rotten decisions.
Too much wine, no common sense. Filled with the Spirit, great decisions that influence others.
Today in our culture, there is a prevalent dullness to God’s Spirit. A culture can be totally filled with God’s Spirit instantly. It’s called revival. When Peter and the other followers of Jesus were criticized for being drunk on wine, Peter responded:
These people are not drunk like you think they are, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. This is the fulfillment of what was prophesied through the prophet Joel, for God says, “This is what I will do in the last days—I will pour out my Spirit on everybody.” Acts 2:15-17
You can ask someone to pour you a glass of wine today, but it is better to ask God to pour out His Spirit. Just ask!