“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
Over-indulgence in food, drinking, sleep and other worldly pleasures can ruin your life. So, it is important for a Christian to exercise self-control.
However, when it comes to the things of God, there is no room for passive participation. You can never have too much of the Spirit.
See the admonition of the Apostle Paul:
“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way”
1 Corinthians 12:31
In 1 Corinthians 14:39, he says: “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”
Notice the word ‘covet’ is used here. In its lay terms, covetousness is a fruit of the flesh. But we are asked to covet spiritual things. How do we reconcile this?
It means that there is a level of desire that is ideal for the things of God that is inordinate for other things.
See the words of Jesus in Luke 14:26:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
A figure of speech is being used here. God is not asking you to have hatred for your family.
Instead, he is saying that you should have so much love for him that the love you have for your family would be nothing compared to that.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”
Here, we are instructed to indulge, but not in wine, we are given a better alternative-to be filled with the Spirit always. Just like a drunk man, it may affect the way we talk, but we’d get even better results.
People may do all sort of things- including getting drunk- to forget their sorrows, but when we are filled with the Spirit, solutions are provided and we are strengthened in faith to overcome challenges.