|Posted by Thomas Dover on June 16, 2014 at 2:55 AM|
As I was in prayer the other day, I felt the Lord tell me to "Soak in
Psalm 45." Even though I could probably quote the first few verses by
heart because I've meditated in it so much already, I decided to turn
there in my Bible just to see it written physically in front of me. As I
read the first line of the first verse, the presence of Father hit me so strong I couldn't move on.
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme..."
The first thought to come to my mind was, "Thank you Father, that you are my good theme." I'm reminded of how Paul exhorted the Church in Ephesus to "Address one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:19-20)
The preceding verse to what I just quoted refers to getting filled with the Spirit of God verses getting drunk off wine and strong drink. The fruit of getting "filled with the Spirit" is that you actually become overwhelmed by good, or pleasing themes. I've never noticed this before, but what if Paul was actually addressing the manifestation of spiritual drunkenness at Ephesus? It's interesting that Paul would submit being filled with the Spirit as a substitute for debauchery.
For so long we've looked at drunkenness as a purely evil thing: the Church has said that drunkenness takes away your faculties and therefore leaves room for the devil to work. We've completely rejected the idea that God can overwhelm anyone anymore, even making them "drunk". When we say the word "drunk" in our gatherings, it's automatically assumed that we're talking about some guy that stinks sitting about a block away from the building in which we meet that always asks for money so he can go and buy more alcohol. We justify never giving him any of our "hard earned money" because he'll just go and spend it on something that we've said is a sin to buy anyway and we have to "tithe" and "give" to our churches anyway.
We seem to assume that Paul is exhorting us in this passage of scripture not to loose our senses and be somber and "holy". But have you ever really thought about the people he's describing? I've been in a few bars in my time and I'll tell ya that verse 19 looks more like a bar than a church. I've seen more people in those settings who are willing to give the shirt off their back someone who needs it as well.
Let me quote it again:
"Addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in to the Lord with your heart."
How many times (in your BC or "Before Christ" days) have you and your friends had a few beers and just went of singing some song that you all love? You kind of reach a point where, dang it, you're just so overwhelmed by the alchohol that you just don't care anymore. You sing at the top of your lungs. You make melody, even if it sounds terrible. Then you go off and plan how you're gonna all be a famous band one day.
I love that Paul used the word hymn as the first manifestation of being filled with the Spirit. Did you know that the word hymn does not find its origin in the Church? Hymns actually started out as drinking songs! They were similar to the games that people play these days when drinking. How about that?
You know, one of Jesus' first recorded miracles (according to the book of John) was when He turned water into wine, and it seems the church has been trying to turn it back again ever since. I think we've forgotten that God is an all consuming fire. He's overwhelming. Perhaps we've been found too long "kicking against the goads" as Paul himself was: trying too hard to be religious without really knowing the God of his religion. I think religion can be good: James says that when it's pure and undefiled, it results in care being given to the orphan and widow. But if we loose sight of the God of our religion, then it can get very empty very fast.
There's this constant temptation in our world to self-medicate by abusing alchohol. We're told by commercials that social drinking is a fun activity to participate in and that it helps us live our boring, day to day lives. We all just live for the weekend and everything is okay.
There's a certain freedom in drunkenness. You reach a point where you don't have worry about it all anymore. You get to kick back and just go with the flow.
Did you know the Bible's full of the Lord exhorting people to look like that? Have you ever known (or been) a pot head? They don't care about tomorrow, do they? They're living in the moment. Taking life by the horns. It's kind of funny how Jesus was found more with sinners and publicans, being called a drunkard (Matthew 11:19) than He was with the religious, church going crowd of His day. He sounds awful care-free when He says, "Don't care about tomorrow" (Matthew 6:30-32). Even the 120 in the upper room are accused of being drunk when Holy Spirit is poured out on them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: all of it).
What if God has destined you for a more enjoyable life than you've given Him credit for? We've spent too much time hiding in our "prayer closets" scared that He'll send us away to Africa and make us live in mud huts. It's time to get filled with the Spirit! Let's erupt with holy drunkenness that those who look on us see the freedom that God intended for us to show!