Under the Influence
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)
Is it possible to be spiritually inebriated? The answer is yes. And the enemy can easily steal from and destroy those who aren’t sober-minded.
The word sober can be defined as “serious, sensible, and solemn.” The Greek word is nepho, which means, “to be of a sound mind.” Peter is not only referring to a believer who is dealing with alcoholism, but a believer who is drunk on the wine of the world.
“…with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” (Revelation 17:2 NASB)
The ways of this world’s system are enticing to the senses and therefore can be intoxicating. One who becomes intoxicated with the world’s ways, riches, and pleasures, can be easily lured away from intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
Frequently believers live in a deceptive state, having the appearance of godliness while being drunk on the desires of this world. Once someone disrupts their relationship with the Holy Spirit, their spiritual knowledge is diminished, and he or she becomes an easy target for the enemy.
How do we guard our hearts from such folly and remain sober-minded? It is simple: continually feed on and drink in the Lord, who truly satisfies.
Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18 TEV)
Paul is not only referring to actual wine but also to the things of this world, which can be intoxicating and diminish our focus on God.
It’s perfectly fine to enjoy recreation, clean entertainment, athletic competition, food, nature, and even technology. These become intoxicating addictions when we participate in them in excess and get our satisfaction from them instead of from God Himself.
Jesus is to be our first love and passion; we are to be intoxicated only with His Spirit! If you struggle to stay away from the world’s intoxicating system and remain spiritually sober-minded, pray:
Father, I thank You for giving me the ability to commune with You. I ask that You would help me to stay sober-minded and connected to Your heart at all times. Lord, I want to remain in You, not intoxicated on the things of this world but filled with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Adapted from Relentless (WaterBrook Press, 2011).