Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
Have you ever watched a person who is heavily under the influence of alcohol? They seem to throw caution to the wind. They make stupid choices. People who are normally cautious and wise become downright foolish. Very often, one drunk evening will spiral into decisions the person has to live with for the rest of his/her life.
The word debauchery actually means a loss of self control. When a person becomes drunk with alcohol, he loses control of his body, his speech, his decisions. He makes foolish choices, because, at that point in time, he is a fool. He has given up his self-control in exchange for a bottle of spirits.
But Paul encourages us not to lose our self control to spirits. Rather, we should give up our self-control willingly, to the Holy Spirit. While alcoholic spirits will turn us into fools, the Holy Spirit will make us wise. While alcoholic spirits may offer us a good time or a short-lived comfort that we won’t even remember the next day, the Holy Spirit will offer us permanent joy and peace. While alcoholic spirits will leave us with a hangover, and eventually send our lives into a downward spiral which will be difficult to escape, the Holy Spirit will lift us up to become all we were created to be.
There are many different opinions about whether or not Christians should drink alcohol. Some feel that alcohol is fine, in moderation. Others feel that alcohol should be avoided, because of its potential pitfalls. Whatever stand you take, my friends, there is one important question to ask: What controls me?
Does alcohol control me? If so, I’m not being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Does food control me? If so, I’m not being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Does pornography, or my job, or gossip control me? If so, I’m not being controlled by the Holy Spirit.
I wish I could say that I am one hundred percent controlled by the Holy Spirit, and nothing else, but that would be a lie. There are other things that crowd in to control me, causing me to lose self-control. But I have found that the more time I spend in God’s Word, in prayer, in seeking God’s will, the more likely I am to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. And being controlled by the Holy Spirit brings the joy and peace and wisdom that I long for, more than anything.
Dear Father, Please help me not to lose control to anything. Rather, I want to willingly give up control of my life to You.