Daily Devo - More Spirit and Less Stress - Day 1
DAY 1: Don’t Get Drunk but Be Filled with the Spirit.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18, ESV
Alcohol sales are up by 300-500% in these crazy COVID times. It is obvious that people need help, and the bubbly offers some temporary relief. There were many Christians in Paul’s day, especially in the church in Ephesus, that abused alcohol, perhaps to find some relief from their stress. Many even once worshiped a Roman God by the name of Bacchus (the son of Zeus) and would gather to throw Christian-gone-wild parties in honor of Bacchus (the God of agriculture and wine). These pagan rituals were called “Bacchanalia”. The parties were filled with drunkenness, sexual liberty, and all sorts of debauchery. At times the Roman Senate banned them because they got out of hand. These parties attracted the pranksters who would pull crazy drunken shenanigans, and of course, attract the crazy anti-government conspirators as well. It’s no wonder the Roman Senate would shut them down! It would be like Mardi Gras in New Orleans but ten times crazier! These parties are remembered mainly for their celebrations and gratitude for the god of wine, but with too much wine came perverted sexual promiscuity, such as violent sexual behavior and mass orgies. These parties were dark and twisted.
This is why Paul says to the Christians in Ephesus, don’t get drunk! You’re not like that! You don’t worship Bacchus, you worship Jesus! You don’t need to fill up on wine, you need to fill up with the Spirit!
I can remember as a teen, I sought to get drunk and high, and then one day I met Jesus and I found a new high. Everything changed. That’s what happened with these Christians in Ephesus, but their drinking habits were still a struggle. So, Paul says get filled up on the Spirit.
For some, you may be asking who is this Spirit? The first thing you need to know is that He is God. He’s the third member in what Christians call the trinity. The trinity is a word to describe three truths which are that there is one God, and that God is three persons, each fully God! These truths are found all throughout the Bible (Genesis 1:26, Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 4:4-6).
In addition, you need to know the Holy Spirit is here help. He first reveals to the unbeliever their sin and need for Jesus, and for the believer he helps counsel, convict, guide, and comfort in their time of need (John 14-16). Secondly, as a believer you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit at the point when you became a Christian, when you heard the gospel. You were given a guarantee, that you belong to God and have a secure salvation. Your destiny is set, and God won’t break his promise. He is not a liar (Number 23:19).
Thirdly and lastly, you need to know that your greatest hope of being more and more like Jesus is being filled, guided, and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:4 says that we were chosen before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless; Ephesians 5:1 tells us that we are to be imitators of God. How are we going to do that? We need extraordinary power and grace to do that. Who can help? The Holy Spirit! He wants us to be filled up with him, so that our daily lives are an overflow of God’s goodness to others, but we need to do something. That’s why Paul says “Be filled!” Tomorrow we will learn the first step of being filled with the Holy Spirit.