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;
Explain / Examine
Here, Paul is expanding to the Ephesians about the previous passages and how there is darkness in the world. So be careful. Don’t be about your business and start doing unwise things. Time on this earth is covered by evil. Please don’t be foolish and fall into its traps through excessive self-indulgence. Instead, if you are walking in the Spirit, you will focus on others. In that focus encourage, speak, and sing out of a heart of thankfulness. One that is giving thanks to God.
How do I apply this to my life?
How am I doing with my daily personal relationships? How am I doing in these evil days? Do I turn to self-indulgence instead of seeking to build others up? Am I worried about number one? If all I do is worry about what I can get next I will fall into the traps of the day. I will fall and be foolish if I can’t see past the end of my nose. Do I have a song in my heart? Am I thankful to God? I am… but is it only after I see a physical blessing? “Oh God, thank you for making my life comfortable!” Is that all I care about? How am I helping the next guy? What precious word do I expend on those around me? Am I careful to only build up? Do I make any crude jokes about them? Do I spout out my frustrations about people because I’m not getting my expectations met? Where should I vent my frustrations? I need a face to look at. Hmm. Do I seek the face of God in these moments? He tells me to. How quickly we forget His words. I am to seek to be in His presence always. Do I? No. I fear I struggle with this because I long to see the physical instead of trusting the supernatural. Does that put me tittering on the edge of Materialism or some type of Gnosticism? Or does that make me just human? I was to trust my physical senses more than I believe in my faith. However, these evil days are completely filled with materialism and Gnostics. There is a need to fill their spiritual void with knowledge and things. Do I give thanks to God for what I know and have? Or am I so distracted in attempting to maintain the things He has given me that I miss out on my relationships, especially with Him? I have to be the “man” and take care of everything that is going wrong instead of being in Christ and allowing Him to work through me in every situation. What glory could be displayed in times of “trouble” but my stress and attitude are trumping the moment because in my humanity I have a high value of “my things.” What can I change about myself?
What is my response?
Father, I know I struggle in my talking with You for various reasons, but I know one of those reasons I want to see You physically standing before me. Hmm, If I can see You I can read body language and know how to interact with You. But I must be with You in soul, mind, and spirit. I must believe in my position of being in Christ to understand the privilege of being able to speak directly to You. I am no longer a “Son of Disobedience,” but instead, I am co-heir with Christ. I am a “Son of the Living God!” Am I living in that? Or am I still just a child in my mind striving, reaching, and begging for Your attention? I need to move from the mind of a child into the mind of an adult who pursues You. I don’t need to beg or please for Your attention. Your mind was on me before the dawn of time itself. That is hard to grasp. But You love me. You want me to talk to You. You want to speak with me. Give me the heart, mind, and ears to listen. Give me the faith to know and trust that You are always right there, listening to what I have to say. Remind me that You hang on every word. Nothing is wasted on You. Amen.