Isaiah 17-19 Ephesians 5:17-33
“Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit. Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20 NCV)
There’s only one way to live the Christian life and that’s by being filled with God’s spirit. Paul compared being filled with the Spirit to being drunk with wine. When you’re under the influence of any drug, you lose inhibitions and control. People excuse their behavior, or the behavior of friends by noting “that’s the beer (or wine, or other intoxicant) talking.” Paul noted that not only should we be filled with God’s Spirit, it should affect us so that instead of griping about life, we’re praising the Lord who leads us. We’re singing and speaking praise with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We’re singing and making music in our hearts out of thanksgiving to God, not because we’re drunk on wine and out of control.
The key to understanding this passage is that we’re to be filled with God’s Spirit continuously. Don’t get sidetracked in life and let lesser things control you. Paul’s example was being drunk on wine. It could be a desire for revenge. It could be the will to succeed that’s so strong that you’re willing to cut corners and take unethical shortcuts. What’s your driving motivation in life? The Christian’s driving motivation in life is the Spirit of God living in us and through us. When God is working in our lives this way we have joy in all circumstances. When troubles come, we recognize His presence and we’re grateful. When good times come we rejoice in God’s blessings. When we’re plodding through life where nothing good or bad seems to be happening, we know that God’s giving us a chance to restore our relationship with Him and our physical and emotional health. In all these situations, we can thank God for His presence and His care. That’s why we speak praise instead of gripe. That’s why we sing hymns and spiritual songs instead of dirges. Our hearts overflow with music not because of any great musical talent, but because we’re filled with joy and gratitude for all that God has done, and we have faith for the future given the way God’s cared for us in the past.
Lord, let my heart burst forth in joyous songs as I think about Your presence in my life. Help me share the reason for my joy when others wonder why I sing through the storms.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.