“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 5:18
Have you ever been to an event with food but you just couldn’t bring yourself to eat much of the food because you were just not that hungry? All the food looked delicious and wonderful, and others seemed to be enjoying it; but you could not because you didn’t have the appetite. Your appetite was long gone because of other food you enjoyed previously. It isn’t much different in the Christian life. We should have a desire to have a strong relationship with our Saviour and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Christians should hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Ephesians 5:18 is a unique verse because it compares a person who is filled and influenced by alcohol to one who is filled and influenced by the Holy Spirit. Think about this: In order to be drunk you have to have a desire to be drunk. The Christian must also have a desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In order for a person to get drunk, he must consume large amounts of alcohol. Similarly, the Christian will not accidentally become filled with the Spirit. He gets filled by spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study. In order for a person to maintain his state of drunkenness, he must continually partake of liquor. In order to maintain being filled with the Spirit, the Christian must also constantly, daily, walk with the Saviour. Many people who drink experience a change in their personality. The mean-spirited person may become loving and kind; the meek and tender can become courageous! Alternately, the soft and quiet person sometimes becomes a mean drunk. Likewise, Christians who are filled with the Spirit find a new personality within them. It is the Holy Spirit, and he will use you if you let him. I have met many preachers who are quiet when you speak with them one-on-one, but in the pulpit they are a fireball! Finally, a drunk does things he wouldn’t normally do. Often, this is to their shame and embarrassment. A Christian may say that he could never teach Sunday School, witness, work a bus route, teach in a prison ministry, sing a special, preach, etc. After you are filled by God’s Spirit, however, you will find yourself equipped to do what he calls you to do. Many Christians have Christ as their Saviour, but so few are filled with His Spirit. Imagine what Christianity would be like if all the saved lived a Spirit- filled life. That life starts by being hungry. What are you hungering after today?