“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-20
Having warned them about continuing to live enslaved to our old life (I like to call these B.C. days), pursuing to it’s passions, Paul continues with his letter to the Ephesians by writing, “So be careful how you live”. Notice, he didn’t say, “stopping living” or “stop engaging the world” as you live, just “beware” of HOW you live in the world! God never intended for us to isolate ourselves from the world, we instead are here to be salt and light while in the world (Matt 5:13-16) Salt bring flavor. Light brings illumination. We are to bring BOTH into a starving, lost/dark world!
Paul continues by writing “Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise”. Proverbs has tons of advise about livings wisely vs foolishly! James advises thos who lack wisdom to simply ask God for some (James 1:5)!
Continuing, he says, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days”. This is a biggie! Most of us don’t have to look far in our time budget to locate lots of time being sacrificed to meaningless activity! God says to make the most of every day you have!
Additionally, he says, “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” For me, this means to plan and set goals when it comes to making the most of the time we’ve been given. Be intentional, knowing and doing those specific things God’s called us to, and often putting the rest away!
Paul also writes, ” Don’t be drunk … because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” Ever notice how liquor stores have wines & spirits? We know what this means, but in a quaint play-on-words, we’re admonished by Paul to instead be FILLED with the Holy Spirit. This is powerfull! Addictions can be overcome here! As we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we will instintively, “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and make music to the Lord in your hearts.”
Finally, Paul advises us to, “give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is very powerful as well! I believe that the more grateful we are, the less we will struggle with our pasts, our old sin natures, our sin and addiction struggles and with adopting the ways of the world, instead of bringing Jesus’ Light into a lost/dying world.
Definitely lots to think about!