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Question: What is the Spirit-filled life like?

Ephesians 5:18 says: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” This statement is put into the middle of a passage that has been about our walk (daily life with) God. Much of the rest of the book of Ephesians is dedicated to what a life that is walking with God and being filled with the Spirit is like.
This verse makes a great contrast – comparing drunkenness and being filled with the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit is not like being drunk, but is the opposite of it. Some would tell you that being filled with the Spirit is like being drunk. Getting drunk is to be carried away by alcohol, letting it take you where it will. I grew up in an environment where I saw, knew, and experienced the drinking lifestyle before coming to Christ. It was one of letting myself go and letting the alcohol take control. In contrast, the walk with God and the Spirit-filled life features self-discipline. A believer who is walking with God is “redeeming the time” (v.16) and walking “circumspectly” or carefully (v.15). A Spirit-filled life is one of understanding and intentional effort to please God.
We see more of this in verses 19-21, where we see the intentional decisions of the Spirit-filled life. A Spirit-filled life will choose a different soundtrack than the godless life. God desires us to be “speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” We live in a day where you can choose to have certain music playing in the background 24/7, but what are you choosing to listen to? Are your musical choices pleasing to God? You can choose music that brings honor to God to have going in your head. I’m not musically gifted, but I can choose to be surrounded by good music that honors God, and even sing in my heart and out loud (if I’m not too loud!)
Other decisions of the Spirit-filled life include thankfulness (v.19) and submitting to others (v.20). One who intentionally chooses to be thankful for what God provides and who does not have to have their own way is showing the Spirit’s control of their lives in ways a sloppy, undisciplined life will never show.

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