Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Experiencing Spiritual Inebriation

Drunkenness in the Holy Spirit is, nowadays, most associated, and therefore most owned, within the realm of Pentecostalism; even to the point of superiority as other Christians look on. Many charismatics routinely experience Spiritual inebriation, which is, presumably, being baptised in, or by, the Holy Spirit. Along with it, oftentimes, is communication by tongues, Divine healings, prophesying etc.

But these halcyon experiences entrap many unsuspecting ones in divisive spiritualised pride; Spiritual inebriation is not saved exclusively for the charismatics. It’s available for any Christ-believer:

“Spiritual inebriation is this: that a person receives more sensible joy and sweetness than their heart can either contain or desire.”

~Jan Van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381)

Entirely consistent with Pauline New Testament teaching, our cups should, and indeed will, overflow with the goodness of Divine knowledge that we are saved and, no less, redeemed—even, with effect, resurrected with Christ. Yet, many Christians are left still scratching their heads. Indeed, my first experience of Spiritual inebriation didn’t come until the Gospel was made real in my life, through great loss—13 full years after I was first saved! That is not everyone’s experience, however.

What’s in sight here, though, is the experience of boundless Spiritual joy.

Experiencing Boundless Spiritual Joy

How long has it been since we last experienced the anointing of the Lord in our worship; completely lost within the solemnity of the intellectualised emotions—both mind and heart fully captivated by the Holy Spirit?

This, in some ways, could be likened to an orgasm, in terms of ecstasy; not, however, in terms of the physiological spasm-founded process. Allusions to something sexual should not offend. We speak of joy, after all.

Experiences of boundless Spiritual joy are, of course, established through common amazement regarding the simple blessings of God, and the intimacy we can have with the Holy Spirit, any time. These experiences can be practiced, as can be the Presence of God.

Grounded in simple analogies of thankfulness, and the enjoyment within the practice of all manner of virtue, inebriation of the Spiritual kind is bounteously available. We make the time and space for it, invite God, and there, sooner or later, we achieve it.


Experiencing Spiritual inebriation is the highest of all human experience—the touch of the Divine. Any believer of God is capable of enjoying such delight. The Presence of God, brought to the immediacy of the moment, made fathoms deep before us, makes life within our beings never more worthy. Living out of such an experience makes every other experience relevant, meaningful, and endurable.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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