To allow yourself to become drunk with wine, or any other intoxicating drink, or mind altering chemical, is actually an escape from reality. Paul tells us to filled with the Spirit, speak to one another in psalms and give thanks to God and Jesus Christ. He is giving us God’s plan on how to deal with reality with power instead of trying to escape from it. After all you will have to wake up from the stupor sooner or later and the reality is still there.
Ephesians 5:18-20, 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Those who have faith, have liberty in both food and drink. I do not want to go into this truth regarding liberty in food and drink at this time, but I encourage you to study Romans14:1-23. The point I want to bring out is to not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. At first this is an unlikely contrast, but there is great truth and substance here, Paul did not make a mistake in writing this contrast. For starters we need to look back into the day this was written, remembering that Paul did not know at the time that he was writing a portion of the bible for us to read over 2000 years later. He was simply trying to help new believers see how their old ways were hindrances to their new found faith in Christ Jesus. There is also a great truth today in this verse. Wine was possibly the most common drink, and at times more readily available than clean water. Wine was served with nearly every meal, and mealtime in those days was most often used as a time of intimate fellowship between families and friends. Wine was also used for medicinal purposes; the point being it was prevalent in their culture.
Alcohol is also prevalent today, but the point made here is being drunk which is dissipation which is actually an escape from reality. Most people have no real idea what dissipation is. Drinking to the point of dissipation is when you begin to loosen control of your thought processes; you reach such a point of mental distraction that your time and physical ability is disintegrated. We call it amusement without knowing what we are actually saying. Amusement is simply “mindless entertainment”. A person is literally becoming so amused they are out of their minds. Christians are called to be in control of our mind. We cannot prevent the initial thoughts that may pop into our minds, but we can control what we meditate on, 2 Corinthians 10:5. Satan can only attack us through our minds and the natural mind is enmity to God. When we lose control of our thought processes we are actually leaving ourselves open and unprotected from the enemy. The other potential here is not just what this does to your own walk, but those who are around you.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a sharp contrast here. The Holy Spirit is the one person that brings us into ALL understanding of the will of God, and the Holy Spirit reveals to us the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16. I have heard recounts of some believers filled with the Spirit where they had the feeling of euphoria when they first became Spirit Filled. This was not the case with me. The one thing I recognized the most was when I picked up the bible to read, it came alive. Robbye and I were not married then and we spent every morning before we started getting ready for work, talking over the phone and sharing all of the wonderful things God had revealed to us the night before while studying our bibles. There was a melody in our hearts and we soon found ourselves on dates at a restaurant filling up our entire time talking about the Lord. There was not only awesome encouragement toward each other while on our dates, but we never had to worry the next morning if we said the wrong thing or made fools of ourselves because of having too much to drink. In fact we didn’t even think of having a drink because there was so much joy in our hearts from what the Holy Spirit was revealing to each of us. Are you starting to get the picture? When a person is Spirit filled and purposes to walk and learn God’s truth, the joy of the Lord will surpass any type of remembered feeling you get from drinking wine or any other alcohol beverage. If you happen to be a person with a drinking problem believing for and receiving the Holy Spirit will give you the strength to overcome. On May 12, 2008 Robbye and I will have been married eighteen years. Just like every marriage, there have been times of trouble, but the one thing we held on to was that we knew each other had an Agape love for one another. This was built from the beginning as we set our own walk with Christ first in our personal lives and allowed the Holy Spirit to minister God’s words to our spirits. Instead of reaching for a drink we chose to reach for a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Instead of engulfing ourselves with wine or strong drink, we chose the better way. “To be filled with the Holy Spirit”
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