(Ephesians 5:15-21) “15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.“
You know it’s not enough to have wisdom; we have to walk in wisdom. You remember the story of the wise man and the foolish man. The foolish man built his house upon the sand, the wise man built his house upon the rock. The rains came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went splat! But the wise man’s house, built upon the rock, stood firm.
But what if the wise man didn’t stay in his house on the rock? If he went down partying at his neighbor’s house down on the sand, he would be just as drowned as the foolish man. It’s one thing to know enough to build your house on the rock, it’s another thing entirely to live there.
Paul says the days are evil, so we need to live “not as fools but as wise”. He goes on to admonish the Ephesians not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t be full of spirits, but filled with the Spirit. No matter what your views on taking strong drink, I think we can all agree that being drunk is not a state in which wisdom is at peak function. I am continually amazed at what people are willing to sacrifice for the excessive enjoyment of alcohol. Athletes – millionaires – ready to blow it all by impairing their perhaps already questionable judgment with substances both legal and illegal. Some of these guys have the golden ticket, and they go get a little juiced up at the club and knock their girlfriends around or pop their guns off or slam their hot rod into somebody, and they’re off to the slammer or (God forbid) the morgue – what a waste!
Instead of having our wisdom impaired by drunkenness, Paul says we should have it aided by being filled with the Spirit. And the influence of the Spirit produces not destruction but fellowship – here we are back to the unity of believers – speaking to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making a beautiful melody before the Lord, submitting to one another – looking after the interests of one another – in the fear of God. And the fear of the Lord is…the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Walk in wisdom.
Walk in unity.
Walk in love.
Walk in light.
Walk in wisdom.
~ Matt Kinnell
NHIM Board Chairman