Alcohol actually teaches us a lot about living for God.
In Ephesians 5:18 we read: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”
To get drunk with wine—or any alcoholic beverage for that matter—means that you will come under its influence. It will negatively influence your motor skills, decision making capabilities. and social inhibition.
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to come under his influence. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event like being indwelinled by him. It is to be continually filled, saturated, and permeated by his presence on a day-to-day basis.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t rocket science.
You don’t have to work yourself up into a frenzy, do a crazy jig, or seek out to be filled by the Spirit through someone else.
After being indwelled by the Spirit we are continually filled with his presence by simply asking God the Father, through Jesus Christ, to fill us him (Luke 11:13) and by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5), which is the Bible (John 6:63; 1 Cor. 2:14).
When we are continually filled with the Spirit we will come under a great sense of his influence in our lives.
His influence isn’t something we necessarily feel.
It’s something that will change our lives.
Here are six ways how the Holy Spirit works within us to enable us to both live and love like Jesus.
1. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live Within Us
After calling and regenerating us, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).
This means that God is not confined to a specific country, item, or building—like the Temple in the Old Testament (1 Kings 6). He indwells those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
By taking residence within our lives the Holy Spirit fills us with his presence (Eph. 5:18; cf. Acts 4:8; 4:31; 6:3; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9). His presence brings new life and a new love for God and others. He changes us from the inside out.
And his influence is not a one time deal, either.
The Holy Spirit is not a flakey guest who crashes with you for a night, sleeps in your bed, eats your food, and then leaves without saying goodbye.
When he comes to live within you he unpacks his bags, moves in his belongings, and stays for the long haul.
Though we may grieve him (Eph. 4:30) and even quench his presence (1 Thess. 5:19), we can’t offend him enough to make him leave. He’s with us forever (John 14:16-17; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-14).
2. The Holy Spirit Makes Known the Presence of Jesus
The Holy Spirit is not a rogue member of the Trinity doing his own thing.
His primary work in our life and the world today is to mediate the presence of Jesus Christ. (This is theological shorthand describing the role of the Holy Spirit in making known to us the personal presence of Jesus Christ.)
All of his works are rooted in his aim to bring glory to Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:14; Acts 5:32; 1 Cor. 12;3; 1 John 4:2)—not himself or us.
The Holy Spirit redirects our pursuits from aiming on ourselves to glorifying Jesus. He will lead us away from loving ourselves to loving God and others. He gives us a new purpose to love God and enjoy him forever.
3. The Holy Spirit Makes Us More Like Jesus
There’s one important point to make about the Holy Spirit: He’s holy.
In a general gist, the Holy Spirit “produces holiness within us.” He will convict us of sin (John 15:8-11) and lead us to become more like Jesus.
As we walk with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and stay in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), he will strip away our love for sin and make us more like Jesus (Gal. 5:16, 18).
4. The Holy Spirit Helps Us Understand the Bible
The relationship of the Holy Spirit with the Bible is twofold.
He inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) and helps us to understand the Bible (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:9-11; Heb. 3:7; 10:15).
When it comes to understanding a passage from Scripture, the Holy Spirit will help you to understand what it means and how it changes your life.
The Holy Spirit will work through your personal reading of the Bible, family and friends, and especially through the proclamation of the gospel and the Bible (Rom. 1:16; 10:14-16).
So ask for the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Bible as you read and study its message.
Also, if you’re in a position of teaching the Bible to your family, friends, small group, or church, it’s a good idea to ask for the Holy Spirit to help your listeners understand the passage you are sharing.
5. The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray
The Holy Spirit is active in aiding us in our prayer life (Rom. 8:26-27).
There will be times—not maybe—in your life as a Christian when you feel inadequate in your prayer life or have no idea what to pray for. This happens when we come into a situation when God’s revealed will in the Bible doesn’t specifically address. For example, we will not find within the pages of the Bible where we should attend school, live, work, who to marry, or how to handle a particular hardship.
In these moments the Holy Spirit will help us when we do not know how to pray for God’s will in a particular situation.
When you find yourself in these moments, remember to ask for the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness.
6. The Holy Spirit Guides Us
The Holy Spirit also guides us (Gal. 5:16, 25; cf. Acts 8:29; 13:2; 15;7-9; 16:6; Rom. 8:14).
He led Jesus into the wilderness (Matt. 4:1), provided direct guidance to Philip (Acts 8:29), and even later physically transported him (Acts 8:39-40).
The Holy Spirit has—and can—supernaturally lead people, but his work in guiding you will normally take place with a less supernatural display of power. Look for less flare and pizazz from the Spirit and more for him to work through your average day-to-day dealings.
Though the Holy Spirit is at work guiding us on a deep, personal level, the Scriptures do suggest that we are responsible to cooperate in his guidance by “walking according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16).
Don’t just pray and wait for a particular feeling. Pray and prepare for action.