On the Friday night before my final exams, I got drunk. As a first-year university student, I had avoided alcohol. But my roommate picked up some bottles of wine and we started drinking. Very quickly, the alcohol in my blood changed the way I talked, the way I walked, and my perception of the world around me. It controlled me.

It is interesting that God’s Word contrasts “drunk with wine” and “filled with God’s Spirit.” The issue is control. It’s clear that being controlled by alcohol is unwise and, many times, leads to foolish destructive actions. Being filled, directed and empowered by God’s Spirit, on the other hand, allows God to change the way we respond to the world around us. The Bible describes these changes as fruit: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

As a student, I gladly invited God into my academic world but was more resistant to his involvement in my social life. I soon realized God is better at every area of life than I am. If I really wanted the best in life, it meant allowing God’s Spirit to be in control so he could direct and empower each area of my life.

From the moment of our spiritual birth, God’s Spirit lives in us, but we can limit his work in and through us. The key is to allow God to direct and empower each area of our lives by allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us. What are you being filled with?

Father, I realize that I have been attempting to be in control and my self-effort has robbed me of your wisdom and power. I confess my need for your Spirit to direct and empower each area of my life. I long to see the fruit of your Spirit produced in my life. Thank you for your love and forgiveness. Amen.

Go Deeper — What areas of life do you find more difficult to allow God to direct? Why do you think you struggle with trusting God in this area? Reflect on the truth that God is wise, created the universe, and holds all wisdom and all secrets to life.

Tags: Holy Spirit Ephesians 5
Photo Credit: Benjamin Voros