Under the Influence
Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. Ephesians 5:18-19
The words "be filled" mean "to be controlled." It means to be influenced or empowered by the Holy Spirit. Paul uses a negative example to emphasize the meaning and significance. He compares and contrasts a person being filled with the Spirit to a person being drunk with wine.
A person under the influence of alcohol experienced blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction, and skewed perception. Alcohol, taken in excess, is the controlling agent.
In the same way if you are filled with anger--the anger controls your life. If you are filled with bitterness--the bitterness controls your life. If you are filled with jealousy--the jealousy permeates all areas of your life. If you are filled with lust--you are controlled by your desires.
Paul's instruction is to abandon yourself to God and be controlled by His Spirit. Practically, there are two important points you need to understand regarding the filling of the Spirit.
1. Being filled with the Spirit is a command.
You are not instructed to be sealed by the Spirit. You are not instructed to be indwelt by the Spirit. You are commanded to be filled with the Spirit--living under the influence of the Spirit in all areas of your life.
2. The filling of the Spirit is ongoing.
The verb "be filled" is in the present tense--which means there must be a continuous application. You must keep on being filled, keep on being controlled.
Are you ready to abandon yourself to God today?