Bro. Caleb Taft
Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5: 17-21
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Our verses today are still dealing with the circumspect walk of the Christian. I love the structure of God's Word. Paul doesn't just tell us to walk circumspectly but he tells us how and makes word pictures for us to understand, it is obvious He was under Holy Ghost inspiration, because the deeper you dig the more perfect you find the text to be. Just like everything God made, when placed under a microscope we find the divine structure of seemingly simple things, like snowflakes and leaves and bugs. They look plain on the exterior but when you put it under the microscope you see the intelligent design and the perfect patterns. Men's work looks good at first glance but when put under the same microscope the flaws start to become evident. The scripture is God breathed and the farther you dive the more perfect it becomes; you begin to find layers and patterns that you didn't see at first glance. It is important to read the scripture, but I believe it to be far more beneficial to study the scripture; in study you will read by default and the farther you go and the more you dig, the more golden nuggets of God's truth will you find and deposit in your memory banks. These golden nuggets of truth can be cashed in in your times of temptation, trial, exaltation and any other time of life that requires them. Paul told timothy, "Study to shew thyself approved." Live in the scripture and visit good men’s books and sermons. Make sure that the place you lay your head down is the scripture and visit books and sermons like you would visit a neighbor, enjoy their fellowship but remember where you hang your hat. The Scripture is what will keep you walking "not as fools, but as wise"(vs.15). The Spirit is what will energize you to keep up this walk. Walking can be tiresome especially on such a long journey. You are going to need a holy energy to walk this walk. Same as a man who starts a long walk will be sure to have something in his stomach to carry him to his destination. If a Christians plans to walk this walk circumspectly, or carefully then you are going to have to be filled with the Spirit and not drunk on wine wherein is excess. A drunk man can't even walk on flat ground without tripping and stumbling over his own feet, much less the narrow path that leads to life everlasting. A drunk man will fall over every stumbling stone along the way, be convinced by every subtle deceiver along the way and blown off the path by every wind of doctrine. Becoming drunk requires filling oneself with alcohol until they are controlled by that substance. Now, most people reading this would agree that Christians have no business being drunk, but even beyond drinking alcohol this principle applies. We can so fill out selves with the things of this world that we are controlled by what we have filled our minds with. I, for one, have fallen into this pitfall more than once. I fill my mind with a certain hobby or topic or interest and become totally enthralled with the subject. I become almost drunken with the idea of fishing this place or that place, with building this or that. None of these things are even bad things but I filled my mind with them to the point that it controlled my actions and consumed my thoughts. It reminds me of the wisdom of Solomon "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Paul now gives the illustration of how to be filled with the Spirit or controlled by the Spirit: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." The same as a drunkard fills himself with alcohol and becomes more and more controlled by the substance He is consuming, so should a Christian fill our hearts and minds with things of the Spirit. There is a progression I see in our scriptures today, first they are speaking to themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs then begins singing and making melody; Conversation has broken into singing. Then thanksgiving breaks forth out of our hearts that have been filled with gratitude from the Spiritual conversation and singing, then Finally we are enabled to love one another and submit ourselves one to another in the fear of God. Just as becoming drunk is progressive according to what you have been filling yourself with, so is this Christian walk. Stephen was so full of the Holy Ghost that as they stoned him, he was fellowshipping with Christ on the right hand of God, his mind was far from the mortal suffering of his body, He was so full that he had entered the heavenlies. Dear reader, you should be filled with the Holy Ghost. Let him take control of your life, the blows of life lose their affect, the sorrows are turned to joy when we are full. We can sleep in a den of lions, we can pass through the fiery furnaces and sit with Paul in the prison house, from where he wrote this very epistle, with a heart full of joy. Poor miserable men forget all their troubles when then fill themselves with wine. How much better can poor downtrodden, burnt out Christians forget the troubles of this life as they fill themselves with the promises of His Word, the remembrances of his mercy. When we fall on our faces and ask God for a drink from the well that will never run dry! Heartache loses its ache, death loses its sting, graves lose their victory, death is swallowed up in life, desserts become streams of water! You say I want that, how can I, such a poor miserable Christian take advantage of such a wellspring of comfort and help? Pull up to the well that never runs dry and drink. Fall down in prayer tell him what you want, open up the pages of His word and drink. Run to the wellspring of his mercy in your life, drink from the remembrance of the time that he pulled you up out of the horrible pit and the miry clay, set your feet on the solid rock and established your goings and put a new song in your heart, even praise unto our God. Drink Christian Drink! If any man any thirst let him drink! He gives of the water of life freely! What have you filled yourself with? Assuredly, that is what is going to controlled you. How about you change fountains. That women at the well found the rivers of living water greater than than what was in Jacobs well. She dropped her pail, hit the trail to go and tell of the Man who is the well. Dear downtrodden reader, forsake the polluted wells of the world and flesh. They may bring some temporary happiness to the flesh, but a happiness that needs to be quenched so often by more and more. Turn to the Fountain of life and drink freely, you will never thirst again! Jesus more than life to me!! Dear Christian, fill yourself with spiritual things and not carnal. To be carnally minded is death and to be spiritually minded is life. Cut off the TV and open The Book. Spend your nights with Paul and Moses instead of Conan and Fallon. Spend your mornings in the word instead of Facebook and Instagram. Cut off the wells of worldly comfort and entertainment and open up the wells of heavenly comfort and adoration. Be Filled with the Spirit!! Revelation 22:17 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (KJV) According to the Riches of His Grace!