There is a power for living and thriving that is found when we understand and submit to God’s divine order in our lives. The book of Ephesians outlines what God has to say about order and structure from the family to the church and beyond.
Whenever there is an encouragement or warning on our behavior, we must understand we cannot fulfill this. We can’t do it on our own. He never says, “Hey, try harder. Be disciplined.”
That’s the most significant difference between Christianity and every other religion. Every other religion is into behavior modification, and somehow you have to do X, Y, and Z and then earn A, B, and C.
Christianity isn’t about behavior modification; it’s about heart transformation.
Our responsibility is to know what happened at the cross and the resurrection and then submit and yield to that.
Ephesians 5:6-9 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things, God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”
Let No One Deceive You
If you get something contrary to the word, and your mind starts doing gymnastics to justify or make it sound good, the sirens should sound, and the red lights start flashing.
The scripture reminds us that we were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. By acknowledging our past, we can rejoice in the transformative power of God’s grace and our new identity as children of light.
The fruit of the Spirit is manifested in goodness, righteousness, and truth, helping us discern what is acceptable to the Lord.
Be the light
You are a lighthouse, shining bright wherever you go. The verse “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” reminds us not to fall asleep in our spiritual lives. It’s possible to be spiritually alive but still fall asleep, becoming complacent about our faith.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to stay spiritually awakened and walk circumspectly, meaning to be aware of our surroundings and world. As Christians, we shouldn’t bury our heads in the sand, avoiding the tension between living on earth and being citizens of heaven.
To stay spiritually awakened, we must walk with discernment, observing and understanding the signs of the times.
Recognizing the time we are living in
Culture used to change once every two or three generations. As far as two generations ago, the culture began to change every generation. Then every ten years, then every six years.
Now they say culture experiences a significant culture shift every six months.
This is why walking with wisdom and discernment is critical – fully awake.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The Greek word for time in verse 16 is kairos, where time and destiny meet and collide.
Kairos is a special time, an appointed time, a unique time.
And that time speaks of the new covenant of His grace that we have.
The new covenant of God’s grace is Jesus coming in, the God-man, and doing for you
what you and I could never do for ourselves, living a perfect, sinless, holy life, dying on the cross, and giving his righteousness to us when we receive it by faith.
We must understand this is a particular time in the history of the world. And we’re privileged to be alive. We are being called to redeem the kairos because the days are evil.
Understanding God’s will
Ephesians 5:17-21 says, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
If you are committed to following Christ, you are looking for the will of God.
And that’s good and healthy to want the will of God. There are several places in the New Testament where it says this is God’s will, and none of it seems that spectacular
on the surface.
You pray, you worship, you ready and study God’s word, and enlist these basic things.
When you do those written things of His known will, you position yourself to hear from Him specifically about your unique situation, life, destiny, and where you are headed.
Don’t be drunk with wine, which is dissipation. Dissipation means waste. So there is a waste whenever you’re drunk or high or escaping. There’s a waste of resources, a waste of your creativity, a waste of your life force, a waste of your body.
No, don’t do that.
But be filled with the spirit, and just notice the connectedness of the two.
There seems to be a suggestion as though he was saying, “Don’t be drunk on wine; that leads to waste, but be filled or be drunk with the Holy Spirit.”
The grammar there in Greek is, “Be being filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Believers are described as lamps that burn oil. So, you may have gotten filled two weeks ago, but that lamp was burning for two weeks, and without a fresh refill, your wick will be dry and dim. So there have to be continuous refillings.
Satan knows if he can get you outside of God’s design, God’s order, God’s best; that’s where the trouble starts, even though it seems so reasonable and rational and so evolved and so progressive.
But it leads to death.
Pray this with me. Lord Jesus, thank you. Thank you, Lord. Your word is, it’s light.
It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. And the entrance of your word brings light.
Father, may we be filled with your word and aligned with your word.
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