HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
Have you ever met someone who after a few minutes you realized were full of themselves? Do you know how you knew that? All they likely talked about were themselves. All they thought about were themselves. All they wanted you to think and talk about were themselves. You can be full of the Holy Spirit or you can be full of yourself, but you can’t be full of both.
Notice the strange comparison the Apostle Paul makes in Ephesians 5:18. He could have written,
- “Don’t steal, but be filled with the Spirit.”
- “Don’t lie, but be filled with the Spirit.” Or,
- “Don’t kill, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Instead he makes a comparison between being drunk and being filled with the Spirit. As strange as it may seem at first, it is a fitting analogy. When someone is drunk, it is because they went seeking to drink alcohol. It is conscious action to take the first drink, and then another, and then another. Likewise, you will only be filled with the Spirit if you seek to be filled with Him. You must choose to place yourself under His control.
While under the influence of alcohol you are literally under its control. You do whatever that alcohol tells you to do. You get to a point where you are no longer consuming the alcohol; the alcohol consumes you. How does a man get drunk? By drinking. How does a man stay drunk? He keeps drinking. Likewise, we are to continuously seek to submit to being filled with the Holy Spirit. We have to have a thirst to be controlled by the Spirit of God.
The term, “be filled,” in Ephesians 5:18 is a nautical term. It referred to the filling of a ship’s sails by the wind that results in that vessel going wherever the wind blows it. When you submit to the filling of the Holy Spirit, you are giving Him complete control of your life. You are hoisting the sails of your heart and asking the wind of the Spirit to blow you wherever He wants you to go.