We are children of light and we do not walk in darkness anymore. We are awake and not dead anymore. We are awake to who we are and we are awake to redeeming the time. We are not just individuals filled with the life of God. We are a community for His purpose and destiny of being the community of God. We are the family of God called to bring His glory into the world in which we live.
Ephesians 5:17-21 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…
We must understand what the will of the Lord is for us in this life. Being filled with the Spirit is the truth. Being a getter is the opposite of being a giver. Why do people get drunk with wine? So they can get everything they want to get. Why are they in bars getting drunk? So they can give to one another? No, they have one thing on their mind. To get a good time. To get something. The primary focus of their time is their time. What am I going to get? That is the way of the world. In the church, we should be just as drunk, but it is a different kind of drunkenness. It is not measured by what we get but by how much we give to others. Being filled with the Holy Spirit with the right spirit, the right focus, and the right anointing is going to cause us to give life to one another. The presence of Holy Spirit in our lives together will cause us become unashamedly bolder than usual. We won’t be afraid to sing, but we won’t sing to get attention. We will simply sing to give life to others. This is a metaphor that challenges each of us to be filled with the Spirit giving life to one another. We are to be filled with psalms. This is a joyful and thankful sound. It is the testimony of filled with God’s word, not religious singing to one another, not religiously reciting Scripture. It is giving life because something of life is coming off us. I believe in you. He is in you! I saw that! Yes, that is Christ in you. Wow. I appreciate you. I am so glad you are here. You are a child of God. I believe in you! He loves you! We have the same Father. Hymns are happy songs. Hymns are joyful songs. Something coming off of us to one another that fills others with joy not complaint, not murmuring, but joyful life. We should be like poetry. We should be life-giving words to one another. Something of life should be coming off us.
Ephesians 5:20 …giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
This is not to be religious in our thankfulness. It is an attitude of our hearts. It is to be real and to be really thankful. It is to remain in Christ. To remain in the place of the Spirit. How often are we to do this? Always! The more we are thankful the more life will be in our lives. It is a matter of being givers of life.
Ephesians 5:21 …submitting to one another in the fear of God.
This is not control. It is relationship. The parts of my body are in submission with the other parts of my body. It is not a matter of one part being greater or controlling another part. It is a matter of relationship and the ability to give life and to receive life from one another for the sake of being a healthy living body.
As the body of Christ, it is about the life of Christ in us and through us to others. We must see ourselves not just in the setting of Sunday service, but wherever we are in life. We don’t do anything in life as independent individuals. We do all for the purpose of being the gate of heaven. We need to understand the hope of God’s calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the working of His power in and through our lives for the glory of His name. It is not our calling, our inheritance, or our power. It is us for His glory, but it is always each of us in connection with others for the sake of who we are together in Christ.
As leaders we must lead others to the way of being the church that is filled with the Spirit, life-giving in character and action, and life-receiving and life-giving in submission one to another.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson