Paul’s letter to the Ephesian believers is all about our ‘WALK’: the way we live out our lives as Christians. In Ephesians 5:1, he wrote, “Therefore (because of your new life in Christ) be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.”
In the very next verse, he gives us an idea of what this ‘walk’ should look like. “And walk in love, as the Messiah also has loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and frequent offering to God.”
In verses, 3-5 Paul tells us of things that are not to have a part in our WALK. (Be sure to read.)
In verses 6-14 the Apostle reminds us that as Christians we are no longer living in the dark spiritually. Jesus, the Light of the world, has ignited the spiritual wick of our lives so that we should now “WALK as children of light.”
Then, in Ephesians 5:15-16, Paul follows what he has already said, with these very solemn words: “Pay careful attention then, to how you WALK not as unwise people, but as wise; making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” He says we should be wise in the use of our time. How many of us are doing that?
It seems to me that the way we use our time is tied directly to what the Apostle wrote in verse 17:
“So, don’t be foolish, but understand what the LORD’s will is.” God’s will is for each of us to live with the Holy Spirit in control of our lives.
Basically, all of us are faced with two philosophies.
1. One is the world’s lifestyle, which is characterized by moral and spiritual darkness.
2. A godly life, which is characterized by moral and spiritual life, motivating us to be imitators of God and His love.
Which lifestyle are you following?
When I was a boy, growing up on the farm in Western Canada, we did not have electricity. We used kerosene lamps throughout the house. They had glass shades. From time to time, the wicks would burn unevenly, requiring them to be trimmed; otherwise, they would smoke up the glass shade, limiting the amount and quality of the light given. Do our spiritual wicks need trimming?
Is Christ’s pure light being clearly, brightly seen in our ‘WALK?’
Isn’t it interesting the example that Paul gives us in Ephesians 5:18: “And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions ….” It is so easy for our lives to get out of balance; to get drunk on the things of the world.
Here is where the Apostle’s advice, given in Romans 12:1-2, can be so helpful. “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
How can we walk in love?
How can we walk as children of light?
How can we walk wisely?
How can we be imitators of God as His dear children?
The answer is found in the last phrase of Ephesians 5:18— But, be filled with the Spirit.”
Bishop Handley C. G. Maule, years ago, gave us an excellent explanation of what it means to “Be filled with the Spirit.” He wrote, “It is nothing less than God in command and control of man’s whole life, flowing everywhere into it, that He may flow fully and freely out of it.”
“Be filled” is the Greek verb ‘plerousthe’. It has some very specific grammatical characteristics.
1. It is imperative, and as such is a command. God wants each of us to live with the Holy Spirit in control of our lives.
2. It is in the plural form. This means that it is God’s will for every Christian to live under the full control of the Holy Spirit.
3. It is in the passive voice which means that we cannot fill ourselves with the Spirit. We must let Him fill us.
4. Lastly, the verb is in the present tense. This means that being filled is a continuous process. We were baptized and sealed in the Spirit once, but we are to be continuously controlled by the Holy Spirit. For that to happen, we must continually yield to His direction and control and repeatedly appropriate His supplies of grace and power. What Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16-17 would parallel what we just considered in Ephesians 5:18: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And, whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
One of the greatest evidence of the Spirit-filled life is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.”
I close with the thoughts of Chuck Swindoll on these verses: “You can’t get to the fruit of the Spirit by following some external set of rules. You must actively turn in faith to God and walk one step at a time in the direction He calls. This is why time-honored disciplines of regular prayer and reading the Scripture are so valued by the saints (that’s us) of God.”
Brothers and Sisters, let’s obey the command to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”
For His glory,