"Under the Influence!"
“Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.” Ephesians 5:18 AMP
As a paramedic, I have seen hundreds of people who were under the influence of alcohol. It is almost unimaginable what being under that influence can cause a person to do. What in a normal, sober state, these actions and activities would be totally unreasonable! The Apostle Paul sums it up in a direct and realistic way, “corruption and stupidity.” He then uses this condition to describe how the believer should live their life!
The issue at hand is being under the “influence” of something. Alcohol corrupts and leads to a path of destruction, but the influence of the Holy Spirit leads to wisdom and life. Just as the drunkard is usually without any inhibitions, so the Christian is called to the same place. We should no fear the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives but rather learn how to “go with the flow” of the Holy Spirit. We should not be concerned about the thoughts of people or what actions the Holy Spirit is prompting us to take. We can be assured that the leading of the Holy Spirit will always be for our good!
When we talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit we are not discussing getting “more” of the Holy Spirit. In reality, it is about the Holy Spirit getting more of us! The Spirit already indwells every person who has confessed Christ as Savior and received forgiveness through the blood of His Son. We should remember though; residence alone does not imply ownership! The Apostle Paul confronted the Galatians about trying to live their lives according to their own efforts!
“Are you so foolish and senseless? Having begun [your new life by faith] with the Spirit, are you now being perfected and reaching spiritual maturity by the flesh [that is, by your own works and efforts to keep the Law]?” Galatians 3:3 AMP
Many times, after beginning a life in the Spirit, the fervor, energy and excitement wain as the process of sanctification begins and the confrontations of life squeeze out the Word! Our cooperation with the Holly Spirit is a joint effort! We cooperate with Him so He can do His work through us! Look at the book of Acts as the church faced a difficult situation. The solution? Find men who are controlled by the Holy Spirit!
“Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.” Acts 6:3 AMP
Did you see it? They were looking for men that had possessed both Spirit direction and wisdom. Sometimes people have wisdom but no Spiritual guidance and vice versa! Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “…be ye filled with the Holy Spirit.” The word filled here is in the present tense indicating an ongoing activity; literally “be ye being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Staying filled with the Holy Spirit is a daily practice of several things. The Scriptures command us to resist temptation and submit to the Spirit,
“Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.”
Romans 12:1 AMP
Depend on Him for the power of living!
“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 AMP
Obey all He commands you,
“whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.” 1 John 2:6 AMP
When you sin, confess it!
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].”
1 John 1:9 AMP
Daily practicing these things will sharpen our awareness of His presence in our lives! Have a victorious and obedient day! Pastor Ken