By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:8-21
Unlike the pagans, believers are not to be drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit. Whatever fills us controls us. I’ve met people filled with pride, filled with bitterness, filled with anger, filled by addictions, and even those blessed people overwhelmingly and obviously filled by the Spirit. Once more, whatever fills us controls us.
Being controlled by drunkenness only leads to debauchery. This is wasteful, riotous living. I’ve met no one who would say drunkenness made their life better.
None can say drinking saved their marriage or positively transformed their relationships. I’ve met countless souls, though, who have lost everything chasing just one more drink. Likewise, I’ve never met someone who could argue that being filled by the Holy Spirit, under His control, was a regrettable thing.
The Holy Spirit fills us, controls us and overflows out of us. He brings wisdom, joy and blessing to and through our lives.
I find it funny the next verse describes singing to one another and making melody in your hearts.
My parents were drinkers. I rarely saw them without alcohol. One of the things it did to my Dad was make him (in his mind) a country musician. With enough alcohol, he became Hank Williams or Willie Nelson.
When I read this, I think back on that and laugh, but I’m reminded the songs which flow out of the believer’s heart are not songs of lost love or of wasteful living. Our songs are of God’s glory and goodness. These are the songs of our faith, and our faith is so good it needs to be sung. Sing loudly the songs of our faith, make melody in your heart and recall the goodness of God.
So let us make the best use of our time in these evil days. Let us not try to escape the pain of this world by drowning them in drink (only to find out they float) like those without hope. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit. May He free us from fear and fill us with songs of joy.
May He overflow out of us in every area of our lives. May we resolve, as the people of God, not to be filled with (controlled by) anything but the Spirit of God. May we not be controlled by regrets or resentment, pride or politics, anger or addictions, fear or foolishness. May we seek to always, and only, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then, and only then, perhaps will we see God send a great revival in and through His people. May we repent of all the lesser things that fill us so often. God, empty us of these things as we repent of them. Fill us with Your Spirit and spill out of us into this world that needs You so desperately. B&R