Yesterday as I was reading in Ephesians 5, I was led by the Holy Spirit to think about the last seven months of my life—those months where I have been adjusting to retirement. I wondered if I had been “making the most of the time,” or simply whiling it away. That thought is contained in a passage labeled in my Bible as “Consistency in the Christian Life.”
After Paul reminds his readers (and me) about redeeming the time, he goes on to other things. First, he tells us what we should avoid, and second, what we should be doing instead.
“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit.” [vs 18 HCSB]
We are not to get drunk with wine because that leads to reckless actions. So often we breeze by that warning because we do not drink and alcohol is not a temptation for us, but I think the warning is far deeper than just a warning about wine. If we go back to the passages that begin Ephesians 5, we see far more and broader warnings.
The chapter begins by telling us to be “imitators of God, as dearly loved children.” We are to walk “in love.”
Then it reminds us to avoid a number of things … some of which we can even find in the church today, things like, sexual immorality, impurity, greed, coarse and fooling talking, crude joking. We are told to not participate in the fruitless works of darkness, or partner with those who promote “empty arguments.”
I believe we could embrace Paul’s warning as encompassing anything that promotes the reckless actions that lead us away from God or diminishes or thwarts our walk as dearly loved children of God.
Instead, we are to be “filled by the Spirit.” (Tomorrow)