Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
By David Chadwick
Recently I was speaking with a pastoral counselor about the clients he was seeing. I wanted to know what were the major issues he was dealing with.
I was surprised by his answer. He said, “If people could control their alcohol intake, 80% of my counseling load would disappear.” I asked for clarification. He stated the same statistic.
Anyone who is involved in the helping profession understands what my counseling friend was saying. Most families have been affected by the problem of alcohol. It is insidious. It not only destroys the person with the disease, but numerous other close relationships – in and outside the family.
It’s difficult to make a biblical case against never drinking alcohol. But one can easily make a case against the evil of drunkenness.
God wants only one primary motivator in our lives: the Holy Spirit. He and he alone should guide and give purpose to our lives. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 (ESV).
Wine was the drink most often used in Paul’s day. It was fermented to preserve it from becoming vinegar.
Paul didn’t want wine to influence behavior to the point where it became debauchery and godless conduct. In contrast, he wanted Christians to be “filled with the Holy Spirit.” When this happens, Jesus’ followers are not only expressing love, joy, peace, and patience, but also the last fruit of the Holy Spirit: self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
The command in the Greek to be filled with the Holy Spirit is a present imperative. This does not imply a onetime infilling of the Spirit. Rather, it describes a regular pattern of life. It is something that should happen regularly, even daily.
The best antidote to the destructive power of alcohol is to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. He points you to Jesus, who should be the master passion of your life. When Jesus is your life, all the idols of this world that you use to fill the void in your heart, including alcohol, are replaced. You live to honor and serve the one who died to give you his abundant life.
How do you know if you are filled with the Holy Spirit? You love and obey Jesus’ commandments. You desire that Jesus alone is glorified in your life. You walk in humility, knowing that all you have is a gift from above.
Love consumes you. You would never want to hurt or destroy your family or friends surrounding you. You want them to know the Lord of love you know.
Do you depend on alcohol or Jesus for your life’s meaning? If Jesus asked you to stop drinking alcohol altogether, could you? Would you? If not, you may be under the influence of alcohol and not the Holy Spirit. And that is not God’s will for you.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit. The evidence is that you desire to do God’s will more than anything else.
When this happens, the desires of this world greatly diminish.
And your heart to glorify Jesus increases by the minute.
Live in-tune with the heartbeat of God!
God might have blessed all Christians with grace, but sin still affects our lives.
It steals our happiness and keeps us from experiencing fullness and meaning that Jesus intended us to enjoy.
We want you to live a righteous, fulfilling life that’s aligned with the heartbeat of God—so you don’t have to live another moment in the miserable pitfalls of sin. That’s why we want to send you David Chadwick’s CD series, Heart Beats, as our thanks for your gift below to reach others with the hope of Jesus Christ.
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