Can You Tell When I’m Intoxicated?
But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” Acts 2:13
For a long time, I was able to keep my drug use a secret. The fact that others couldn’t tell when I was using, encouraged my use. If no one can tell, then what harm is it? The longer I got away with it, the more the behavior was reinforced.
Eventually of course, the drugs I filled myself with, seeped out, poisoning everything and everyone around me. As I developed a tolerance (needing more to get the same effect) and dependency (experiencing withdrawal when I couldn’t use), my behavior changed and those around me began to notice. So, I made excuses. I’m tired. I just worked a long run of nights. When my lying, cheating, and stealing came to light though, there was no more hiding. The chemicals that I’d put in my body eventually spilled out for all to see.
In today’s passage, we’re told of the arrival of God’s Holy Spirit, which looked like intoxication to some. The disciples, emboldened by Christ’s resurrection, had been meeting together, praying, and seeking God’s will. They pursued God and God responded by sending his Spirit to dwell in them. As the disciples were filled with the Spirit, they miraculously spoke in foreign languages, preaching the gospel. Most of those listening were astonished. Some though, thought the disciples were drunk.
When the disciples followed God, he filled them with his Spirit in such a way that those around them couldn’t help but notice. The same is true for us. We may or may not have the ability to speak in a foreign language, but we too, as followers of Christ, should be filled with God’s Spirit in such a way that others will notice. Often, we prefer to keep our faith private. The truth though, is that if we call ourselves Christians, if we truly follow Christ, there is no way that others shouldn’t be able to tell.
When I filled myself with drugs, that inevitably spilled out of my life in a way that others couldn’t not see. Now, living in faith and recovery, I want to follow and love God in such a way that his love fills and flows out of me into the lives of those around me. I desire to live in such a way that others can’t help but see God’s effects on my life.