Verse: Ephesians 5:16-18
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
In verse 16, Paul is imploring the listeners to use what little time and opportunities they have to the fullest because we don’t know what day will be our last. I think Paul had a little experience from this perspective. He was shipwrecked, stoned, imprisoned and that list goes on. Paul lived in a time of rampant sin (nothing really has changed) and he is encouraging us to try to live our life in obedience and love in every opportunity we are given.
In Verse 17, Paul again is calling us to not be foolish or reckless with our lifestyle choices. God calls us to live according to his will. Yes, the idea of God’s “will” can be overwhelming and hard to understand at times. However, I believe we can narrow it down a little and look at Jesus’s greatest commandments. In Mathew 22 Jesus was asked what his greatest commandment was and he said clearly. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” These verses are broad but I think we can filter our decisions, our reactions, etc through these verses to see what God’s will is for our lives.
Verse 18 follows verse 17s lead in that, we shouldn’t be foolish and that includes getting drunk. Yep I said it…as Christians we aren’t to do foolish things and getting drunk is one of them. Notice that alcohol itself isn’t the problem, but losing control by getting drunk is the issue. I loved what this commentary said about it.
“Paul’s positive alternative to being drunk is to “be filled with the Spirit.” Just as drinking a great deal can cause a person to be controlled by wine, focusing on the Spirit can cause a person to be filled or controlled by the Spirit. However, this control or filling is not being “out of control” in the sense of some highly charismatic display of emotion. The following verses speak instead of sharing psalms, singing, being thankful, and submitting to one another. Being controlled by the Spirit is living in a manner worthy of God’s calling.”
So let’s make the most of the opportunities God gives us. Let’s be good stewards of our time and the resources he’s given us. Let’s lean into what God has for us in this life, and let’s stay away from foolish things that can side track or control us. Let’s take the opportunity to be filled with the Spirit. When we do these things we can walk in grace, gratitude, and forgiveness.
Thank you Jesus for loving us with unconditional love even when we do foolish things. Thank you for the time and opportunity to serve and love others. We ask that you continue to help us walk out our journey in love and obedience. Show us how we can lean into your will for our lives and how we can continue to grow.
Author: Josh Robinson