There are many forms of drunkenness in the church. For example, we know how wealth and the lust for money corrupts and seduces us to follow a dark path of greed. Granted, it is the LUST/LOVE for money that is the root of ALL evil, but such a depraved love is many times fuelled by the lust for power. There has been a lot of teachings to support and to also condone prosperity doctrine, but we cannot deny that we have so often distorted the Gospel for gain and self-benefit. The prosperity doctrine if applied correctly according to Scriptures has its merits (then we have to also consider spiritual wealth and prosperity is of the greatest concern), but what we have been preaching and teaching these days regarding prosperity is nothing more than greed, thus a powerful lust rooted in selfish desires and needs. Because of this lust, we cannot deny how people within this church have been exploited and manipulated to give, all the while we have butchered the Word of God to justify our actions. Jesus warned about not being able to serve two masters, identifying Mammon specifically. God wants us to be provided for and He wants us to prosper (first spirit, then soul, and then the body), yet there is a fine line between following God’s will and Word compared to our will and plan for self-enrichment.
And what about the power in the church to be known, to be seen, to be recognized, and to ultimately be lauded and praised like a god? Again, years ago the Lord showed me how the cult of the celebrity has slipped into the church. Oh yes, make no mistake, pastors and spiritual leaders, and even worship leaders are treated like celebrities! They are idolized, adored, worshipped, and draw a following. This is of course very dangerous since we are called to only follow God and God alone. Such an attraction and following births an enormous lust for power, but such power feeds idolatry and draws us away from God. Thus 2 Timothy 3 warns us how in the last days people (within the church) will be lovers of the self. Idolatry is, therefore, rife in the church because we treat people in churches like gods. No wonder they then think they are gods and want to act like gods!
In Revelation 18:3 we read of Babylon: “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” We are thus called not to be drunk with the things of this world. We are not called to be intoxicated with its evil and wickedness. The lust for power cantered in our will is simply dangerous and destructive. After all, it says in “Ephesians 4: 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
Indeed, Ephesians 5:18 is clear: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” We need to keep in step with the Spirit lest we go astray down strange and dark paths of self-empowerment and glorification! In these days of peril and danger, we need to keep aware that the devil is ever-present. He was right there at the table when the Lord shared His last supper with His disciples, and he was present in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve enjoyed the company of God. Very unlikely places, but the devil always lurks and wants to draw our attention away from God. This is why it says in “1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” To be “sober” means not drunk. In other words, we are urged not to be intoxicated with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2). We are called to be well balanced and self-disciplined in the Spirit, and to prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13). Peter urges us to be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], because the devil is restless. We need to therefore guard against being drunk on power, yet be filled by the Spirit of God.
By the Spirit of God, we walk in humility, in the will of God, in His Presence, and according to His purposes and truths. Beyond the Spirit, we end up on a path of the flesh or engage in demonic creatures that seek to seduce and manipulate us. In Ephesians 5, Paul outlines how to walk in excellence. He writes: “15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.” May we truly seek to abide in God’s will, in His Presence, and in His Spirit to walk as true disciples who exude a sweet aroma pleasing unto Him.
Paul understood the absolute need to be filled by the Spirit of God, thus to be a burning flame for the Kingdom. This is expressed in “Ephesians 1: 5 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
May we indeed seek to be filled only by the Holy Spirit, thus the Power on High. May we seek to walk in such power to the glory of God. May we seek to be led, guided, and strengthened only by the Word of God, by His Will and Way. Any other power only corrupts and allows for a legal entry for the devil to work, to deceive, and manipulate.