15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
- Ephesians 5:15-21
The notion of being “filled with the Spirit” can prompt ideas of an exuberant life… maybe even ecstatic, vibrant, dynamic living. But, is that what the Spirit-filled life is like?
Paul writes in to the Ephesians to be “careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise” (5:15). And, that’s probably a good point to begin on.
Have you, or anyone you’ve known, ever been pulled over for suspect driving? Probably not, right? Well, if an officer suspects someone of driving while impaired, they would have them pull over, ask a few determining questions, and possibly have them step out of their vehicle to further determine their capacity to continue operating a motor vehicle. Now, you’ve probably seen videos of drivers undergoing this examination… and they fail miserably. Speech is slurred, incoherent, unintelligible. Actions and co-ordination is affected. Inability to complete a single, simple task, such as… walking.
The term for such driving would be “driving under the influence.” The driver has permitted something to influence their ability and capacity to make wise, prudent decisions, and to hinder their ability and capacity to function and respond. DUI. That is nothing to be proud of.
The question for us “What do we allow to influence us?” That is, under what influence are we living, acting, responding,… walking?
living under the influence
The idea of being “filled” is the notion of influence. We, as followers of Jesus, are to be influenced by the Spirit; under His control. That is, we are to yield ourselves to His influence. That is, in essence, what the Spirit-filled life is. Yielding our will to His will.
yielding to another?
Yield? What does that mean? When you’re driving, what does that mean “to yield”? Does that mean you have the right of way when merging in traffic? Nope. It means you acknowledge that someone, other than yourself, has the right of way. So, you yield to them. You grant them their right over yours, no matter what your intent, goal, objective, or desire is. They have the right of way.
walk with wisdom
It isn’t easy knowing what to do next, or what decisions need to be made. So, seeking wisdom and perspective, insight and discernment is prudent part of living intentionally. Thankfully, God invites us to seek Him!
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
– James 1:5-8
His invitation is open to everyone… and anyone!
“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’”
Give Him a call…