And so not get drunk on wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5: 18

 

There are some things that are so important that we are commanded to do them. This is one of the most important of those commands for the Christian. This is an extremely powerful statement that Paul makes, for he could not have constructed the language of it with more force. It is made more powerful by the contrastive negative statement that comes first.

 

“Don’t get drunk” is, of course, a reference to over indulgence in alcohol, but if we stop there, the true point has been lost. In the time that this was written, this was a direct reference to the worship of the god Dionysus, the Greek god of wine; we are commanded to stop filling ourselves up on false gods like worldly pursuits, our jobs, our activities, pleasure, and religion, for when we do this, we don’t leave room in our hearts for the Holy Spirit to take charge and to transform us.

 

Instead, we must, let me repeat that, we MUST continually seek out and yield to the Spirit of God, and allow His very real presence a place of dominance in every aspect of our daily lives. This verse more literally says that we must keep being kept filled with the Spirit. The first step to making this our own reality happens when we realize our total need and absolute dependence. Without this continual filling of the Spirit of God, we are not living in the fullness of the Christian life. With it, the God of the Universe is a part of every breath I breath throughout my day.

 

Like all things in our relationship with Christ, this is a choice that we are allowed to make; yet, Paul, with his deep knowledge of how people function, commands us to keep filling up our leaky vessels with the Spirit of the Living God. Stay in prayer, keep reading the Bible, and become close with people of faith. Get rid of the distractions and all of the empty calories of the soul that we enjoy consuming; then, actively seek God’s Spirit, and delight in the new life that you will be living.