Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness, but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.
If you let go of the steering wheel while driving, there is a chance that the car will still move in a straight line for a time. Eventually, you will encounter either a turn in the road or an uneven surface that will require some steering to keep the car moving along the right path. Even if the path is straight with no impediments, the car will likely begin to drift eventually. Controlling that steering is critical to driving the car in the right direction. The goal is to arrive at a specific destination via a specific route. That is not a goal that is achieved by chance but is one that is met only by taking specific steps to get to your destination the way you planned. It is the driver who determines where that car goes and how it gets there. In our spiritual journeys, this is the job of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who guides us to navigate the road and reach our destination.
Today’s scripture begins with a warning. It gives us an example of one thing that we might allow to control us in place of the Holy Spirit. There are many other things we can allow to control the journey that would be just as detrimental, if not more. Sometimes it is addiction to a substance. Other times it is the ill-advised influence of others who do not have our best interest in mind. Some people are controlled by their love of money while others are controlled by protection of their pride. The common guide in this system of things is the world’s ideas of how a person should live and what is acceptable and normal. All of these can steer us in a direction other than where God wants to take us. We must be intentional about allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our steps because He will guide us to the right destination by the right path. We need only relinquish that control and trust him in his guidance even if things are not perfectly clear to us at the time.
Even those with no life ambitions and no desire to accomplish anything here on Earth are on a journey. Everyone is either walking down a certain path or running down a certain path or simply sitting on that path. We all have a destination to which we are headed. There are good destinations and bad destinations. There are pathways that give life and those that take it. The spiritual battles we face are real, and we need someone good and perfect and holy to guide us along the way. We cannot reach God’s ordained destinations for us if we try to find the way on our own. We must give control to the one who knows how to navigate the way. Father, thank You that your Spirit leads us along the paths of righteousness to the goals You have set before us, and teach us to allow your Holy Spirit to guide the way.