Walk in Wisdom. Is it truly possible for us to understand God's will for our lives? Yes! How do we do that?
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Ephesians 5:17-21, NKJV
In our Bible passage today from Ephesians 5, Paul gives us a very respectable list of commands which follow his initial command, "Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Is it truly possible for us to understand God's will for our lives? Yes! How do we do that? Our verses today give us a good start in understanding what it means to walk in wisdom. Let us consider each command Paul gives in verses 18 through 21.
Do not be drunk with wine. I know that many believers are convicted that drinking wine is wrong. While I do not want to get into a lengthy discussion of this, let us note that, here in Ephesians 5, Paul tells us not to be drunk with wine. It is true that if we never drink wine, we will never get drunk, however, we must note that Jesus did drink wine. Rather than go beyond the words of Paul, let us remember that our goal here is to walk in wisdom. Large consumption of alcohol would certainly deter us from walking in wisdom and is thus prohibited here by Paul.
Be filled with the Spirit. How do we accomplish this? When we become a believer in Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts. However, because we still struggle with sin, we can quench the Holy Spirit by not following God's Word. If we follow the pattern of those of this world, we can easily quench the Holy Spirit's influence in our hearts and lives. Conversely, by reading and studying the Word of God, and by spending time in prayer and fellowship with the Lord we will grow in Christ and our ability to be filled with the Spirit.
Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. How are we to speak to one another. Just a quick perusal of the psalms will show us how David had a heart for the Lord. The psalms are filled with examples of believers in all circumstances of life continually going to God for help and strength. May we learn to speak to one another in such a way that we offer encouragement to each other to live faithfully for the Lord. Let us not allow our conversations to be filled with gossip, but rather, may our tongues continually praise the Lord and uplift our fellow believers!
Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. I find it interesting that even Disney understood the importance of singing. What do you think of when you think of Snow White. I always remember her beautiful singing with the birds joining in beautiful harmony. Our peace, joy, happiness, and love of God are evident to others when they hear us singing God's praises!
Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Chronicles 16:34 tells us: Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. What a wonderful reminder of the Spirit of God dwelling in us and pouring out in praise to God our Father for all of the wonderful things He has and is doing in our lives. Our God was not just here for us when He saved us, but He continues to be active in our daily lives and will be with us, literally, forever! How amazing is that?
Paul ends with one last command. Submitting to one another in the fear of God. This may be the hardest command to obey. We are such people of pride often pushing and shoving to get our own way. And yet, as believers, we are to display the opposite: we are to submit to one another. How? In the fear of God. We fear God out of love and respect, and therefore are to spend our lives submitting to Christ. In the process, we will find ourselves submitting to one another, as this is a natural consequence of loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Go, then, today and walk in wisdom. Cry out to the Lord to help you live in a manner that is truly pleasing to God. Truly we cannot do this in our own power, but must look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.