“Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…” Ephesians 5:17-18 (NLT)
Sadly, when I was in high school and college, I experienced what it meant to be “drunk with wine.” I was under its (alcohol) power and influence. I didn’t have control on my own, and like most, would often wake up with more regrets than I would care to mention. In this verse, Paul is providing for us an illustration to help us understand what God’s will is for believers. Just like people who live according to their flesh (impulses, desires, etc…) and allow themselves to be controlled by alcohol, or many other things, believers are to live contrary to that way of life. We are to be “filled” (under the influence, control of) with the Holy Spirit and not allow our fallen desires to dictate our actions. When we live like this, unlike the person who surrenders to drunkenness, we will live a life free from regret, pain, and angst. I don’t know anyone who has woken up from a night of worshipping the LORD, or living an evening of simplicity, purity and obedience to God, by His Spirit, who said, “I can’t believe I did that last night! That was such a bad idea, I don’t know how I will be able to fix this, tell my parents, etc…” To help you understand how you can “be filled” with the Holy Spirit, I will explain it like this. When you received Jesus as Lord and Savior, you received ALL of the Holy Spirit. But as time went on you may have noticed that you were still calling the shots, you were still the decision maker in the relationship, which never really works out well. You led, you decided, you set the terms. But when you come to realize that is not God’s will for your life, you will instead ask the Holy Spirit to have ALL of you. At that moment of absolute surrender, you will experience what the Bible calls being “Filled” with the Holy Spirit. I can’t encourage you enough, don’t allow yourself to be influenced, or under the control of anything other than God’s Holy Spirit! You won’t regret it. There is no such thing as a spiritual hangover.