Be Filled NOT Drunk




Sunday 08/05/18 

Series: For edification

Message – Be Filled NOT Drunk

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Are you Filled…or Drunk?

Last week I introduced today’s topic, but ended the lesson with Eph. 5:17, so let’s look at that real quick before we press on.

Back to Eph. 5: verse 17

(17) So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

How often is the Lord’s will a factor of honest consideration for us?

Knowing it does not bring self-focused living to an end… Honor and respect coupled with trust and broken surrender does!

Where is your heart today?

Has the decisions you’ve made this past week support living these words or has your time and mental/emotional focus largely been wasted on self.

I told you last week what these words Paul wrote here meant…do you even remember without having to consult your notes?

Being able to answer a question by referencing your notes does not mean you inwardly know this enough to be a serious candidate for living it.

This command is to stop doing something that is already happening and to start doing something else.

Sit in judgment of your own actions and heart…

  • Stop being non-reflective.
  • Stop being stupid and without understanding…
  • Stop acting rashly and in the impulse of the moment
  • Start constantly being aware that you’re here for a reason and it isn’t to serve yourself.

THIS is more of a command to know and hold in your conscious thoughts the direction and purpose of God’s general will for us as Christians…rather than a harsh command to not be stupid but always know God’s specific will for you as an individual.

In other words, stop walking around with your head in the clouds as though you have nothing to do.


Transformation is your occupation.

Transformation into Christ’s image by separation from conformation to the world.

Then let the light of your transformation shine to all around you, that they who so desire may come to the light they see in you. But if your communication is largely about you….. What light are you really shining?

“(18) And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit: (19) speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music to the Lord in your heart, (20) giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

These two topics of being drunk with wine verses being filled with the Spirit are mentioned side by side to illustrate a point.

Being filled with wine – being filled with the Spirit

Do not be drunk with wine: The carnal contrast to being filled with the Holy Spirit is being drunk.

The reason why they are even comparable is because both are too be “under the influence” of.

They are both an act of voluntary submission to an influential being or substance. To place yourself under… Hoopotasso.

The Bible condemns drunkenness without reservation and no wonder!

Both influence behavior… alcohol…in which is dissipation:

This word dissipation comes from the word prodigal. It means absence of all restraint and recklessly wasting your resources on extravagant luxury.

Prodigal means to have no hope of safety; extravagant squandering. In the context of this part of Paul’s letter, THIS ESPECIALLY INCLUDES TIME ( …knowing the season).

A prodigal, is one who spends too much, who slides too easily under the fatal influence of things other than God. Most often the prodigal flatterers and surrounds themselves with like minded people who spending themselves freely on their own lusts and appetites. Which appetites are often thoughts of self OR self-pity.

So…IN CONTEXT – this commandment means that drunkenness is a waste! A waste of time… A waste of heart devotion… A waste of resources which SHOULD be submitted to Jesus.

IT is in part, a statement of stewardship!


Now, about the mundane issue of alcohol…

When the scriptures speak about intoxicating drink (which is what is truly meant by wine) people get all kinds of goofy in their interpretations. We have to draw upon the WHOLE of God’s word to get the understanding of what He says on this subject.

When it says, be not drunk – it is not limited to the state of being so drunk you can’t stand. On the other hand, it is not so teetotalling as to be limited to the DUI standard of approximately one beer.

It is somewhere in between.

Let’s be clear, God’s standard was for morality… the Florida DUI is for Motor Vehicle Safety .  I am not advocating driving after drinking in any way… I am only talking about what is morally acceptable in terms of alcohol consumption  for a Christian using scripture as our guide.

100% avoidance is no more moral high ground than abstinence from eating meat. Both were created by God to be enjoyed not abused.

The Bible describes the pleasant buzz one has after moderate drinking as, “making glad the heart” which according to Ps. 104:15, was God’s intention in creating the ability for making wine in the first place.

In Proverbs 31, it tells us on the one hand that wine is not for Kings lest they forget the law and pervert justice while on the other God tells us not to condemn the man who drinks while perishing on his death bed, or who is filled with sorrow or poverty – in fact, he tells us to give him strong drink.

But we know that God allowed Kings to drink wine and does not want even the sorrowful or dying to be drunk!

So what does He mean?

He means, enjoy wine and strong drink to the point where you have a merry heart, but NOT so far as to begin to lose your moral bearings and sense of justice and shame.

Truth is, it is easier to break this command than to keep it – which is why so many simply just teach against drinking – but that is to seek to establish righteousness by works. Instead, those who enjoy alcohol should drink moderately and stop long before they need to. A rule which, by the way is good for nearly everything in life.

This is a “fasted lifestyle” which more Christians forsake at the buffet line than they do at the bar and BOTH are equal in terms of sin!

It is time that we take the commands of Jesus seriously.

So taking these words of Paul in the SPIRIT of their intended meaning, clearly illustrate that ANY state of being which impairs your sound judgment in ANY way is sin and for this reason this command would extend to any number of over the counter drugs and prescriptions as well.

As we were learning two Wednesdays ago concerning chastening, some things are sins and some things are simply weights which slow the progress of Christ being formed in us!

While the DRUNKENESS and OVEREATING we’ve already mentioned are sins, they often do not take as MUCH of the average Christian’s time as our thoughts do. So MUCH of our lives are spent in unnecessary misery OF OUR OWN MAKING! We are DRUNK on the wine of self-centered thoughts rather than being filled with the Spirit.

Now, this is a very important command. Paul’s grammar here clearly says,

Never – in ANY moment be drunk with wine BUT In every moment – constantly be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Guzik has this to say,

“Much of the weakness, defeat and lethargy in our spiritual lives can be attributed to the fact that we are not constantly being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

It DIRECTLY connects to our quote from Tozer last week.

The ancient Greek grammar for be filled also indicates two other important things.

  • First off, it is imperative, so this is not an optional experience.
  • Secondly, the verb is passive, so this is not a manufactured experience. It is something that happens TO you, not one you conjure or make happen.

It is more than once illustrated by comparison with being drunk BUT NOT in the sense of losing motor skills or slurred speech or lewd, obnoxious and disorderly conduct or even flipping around on the ground like a fish out of water…these are all superficial attempts to appear filled with the Spirit and is often called being “drunk in the spirit” – but such a term or experience does not even exist in the Bible!

Please note that the article below represents one person’s stated experience in a single class in the church mentioned. While I am not at all questioning the truthfulness or accuracy of the article nor the involvement of this church in this type of “teaching”, neither can I validate the claims here written. The only reason for the clip is for illustrative purposes only. I attempted to research the validity of these claims by way of video and “eye-witness” testimony. Much of what I found was 6 to 8 years old, though some are as recent as this year and I have no doubt that Bill Johnson and Bethel Redding are leading people into error – but the primary test is this…does it appear in scripture in the manifestation they claim and does their supposed “getting drunk in the Holy Spirit” (or other practices) glorify Christ and point to His Lordship. Out of the small sampling I was able to read, watch and listen to (which admittedly wasn’t a lot) these practices only seemed to bring glory to man, a church, a “movement” and glorified an experience.


As I said above, the real test is this…Is it Biblical and does it point to the Real Jesus of History as Lord and Christ. Well, let’s examine the only passage which could even be used to support this idea of getting “spiritually drunk”.

The word “filled” is used in reference to the Holy Spirit and the word drunk with Alcohol.

This word “filled” does not mean being drunk but implies both the state of being completely filled with something AND the action of taking it in.

The verbal imagery is that of a sponge not a drunk person! 

A person filled with the Spirit is wholly imbued, affected & influenced by Him.

This TAKES TIME and we have biblical examples of those who were filled with the Spirit and NONE of them appeared drunk! We will look at some of these next week.

Being “filled” with the Holy Spirit is really talking about total surrender to Him…allowing Him control over what we do, how we live, what we say. So the”test” of one being filled with the Spirit is – do they say what the Spirit says – do they talk like the Spirit talks? The one thing we know for certain is that the Holy Spirit ALWAYS points CLEARLY to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior! If an “experience”, said to be influenced by the Holy Spirit points to anything or anyone other than Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen again – it is FALSE!

To be filled with the Holy Spirit requires being deliberate about cultivating a relationship with the Holy Spirit. By relationship I do not mean one of conversation so to speak, but one of knowing His inspired and written word and abandoning yourself to His will and way. It requires one to love what He loves and hate what he hates. This is not to say that talking to and with Him are bad…quite the opposite, but it is done in such a way as to invite Him into your every thought and your every decision.

Sometimes we understand truth more by studying the opposite which would be being filled with yourself! ALL of those sinful, pointless, self-indulgent “self-talks” you get “drunk on” – you know what I mean – “self-pity” parties, grumbling, complaining, seeking out others to tell your problems to. What are you doing? You are “filling” yourself with yourself. Here is a suggestion. IF you are going to indulge in those rants – have them with HIM. Invite Him into your times of self-pity…you will find it will radically INFLUENCE your thoughts and attitudes away from self-love!


In order to Flesh this out in order to make the transference from alcohol to relationship – consider that someone who is filled with the Spirit is like a young naive girl who is head over heels about a boy – she is completely enamored with him.

She is “drunk with love”.

She thinks about him constantly, forsakes nearly everything else to just be around him, hangs on his every word, thinks he can do no wrong and in short totally loses her own identity in him.

She becomes much like an Amway salesman who everyone who doesn’t like Amway avoids the moment you see them coming – because you know IF they catch you – the next hour of your life is as good as gone – listening to the virtues and benefits of Amway and how “you really should become a distributor”. (ask me how I know?!)

Look at the likes of John the Baptist. In what ways did he look and act a LOT like what I just described between this girl and an Amway salesman?

  • Totally dedicated
  • Isolated from others
  • Drew attention BY his passion ( it wasn’t due to his separation but in spite of it.)
  • Repelled many
  • Very enthusiastic (some might say fanatical – from “fan”)

Is it any wonder then, that wine is brought up in contrast with bring filed with the Spirit concerning John.

Luke 1:13-17, “(13) But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. (14) And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. (15) For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. (16) And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. (17) He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

So being filled with the Spirit is to be close to Him, surrendered to Him, listening to Him, seeking Him, to get lost in Him and be influenced by Him without any resistance at all.

These things you have a measure of control over… the filling is all HIS work.

This type of living, naturally leads to a life of praise, thanksgiving and surrender.

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!