Making the Best Use of the Time

Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Look Carefully

If you look carefully for or at something, what does that look like to you? I looked it up. It means “with exactness,” “extremely accurate,” “researched down to the finest detail,” and “precisely” (biblehub.com). And it means prudently, sensibly, judiciously, and wisely. So, this is not a casual matter. This is not something to be taken lightly. This is serious business.

And our walks are our lifestyles. My walk is how I conduct my life day in and day out. It is my practice, my habit. And how I live my life reflects what I believe and who I am in character. So, if I am going to examine my life to look at my practices, my conduct, but also at my character, I have to be totally honest with myself and I have to be willing to see the problems.

Not one of us is perfect. We won’t be perfect until we get to heaven. But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for deliberate and habitual sin against God. It is not ok with God if we continue in habitual and deliberate sin against him. But not one of us has arrived, either. This is why daily we must deny self and die with Christ to sin. We are always growing.

So, again, when we do this self-examination, we have to be totally honest, or it is wasted effort. For, we can’t fool God. And we must mean business with God, too. This can’t be for show or to please someone else. If we aren’t serious, we are wasting our time. And if we are not willing to go the distance to obey our Lord, to change, then why bother?

God put all of us on this earth for a purpose, but many people are living their lives for themselves and for self-pleasure without thought to the future or without thought to why they are here. They are just taking up space, occupying themselves with what is meaningless, as unwise, not as wise. For life is about themselves and what they want, not about what God wants.

For That is Debauchery

The definition of “debauchery” is “excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures” (Google). Or “extreme indulgence in bodily pleasures and especially sexual pleasures: behavior involving sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. that is often considered immoral” (M-W Dictionary). Or “spiritual wastefulness due to excessive behavior and the dire consequences it brings” (biblehub.com).

When people are drunk, they are intoxicated, and to be intoxicated is not just about being drunk on alcohol. People can get intoxicated to many things, such as sexual pleasure, romance, extra-marital affairs, pornography, fame, knowledge, accolades, popularity, food, possessions, appearance, clothing, entertainment, and sports, etc.

For this is all about following our feelings and our fleshly desires over reason and good judgment. It is about letting other people or other things be our god instead of God being our only God, so this is also idolatry. One can be intoxicated with oneself, too, as self can be a huge idol. This is about being stupid, not wise, and being out of control, not exercising self-control.

Those who live for intoxication, for debauchery, for the sensual pleasures of the flesh are not wise, but they are foolish. They are not thinking about God and about his will for their lives. They are thinking about self and self-pleasure, and gratifying self above all else, above reason, and no matter who gets hurt in the process, either.

For they are obsessed with self and with self-pleasure. They are not concerned about the consequences. They don’t take God’s word seriously, although they may know it well intellectually. They may even be pastors of churches or Bible teachers. No one is immune. For we are all still living in flesh bodies. And this is why the Scriptures give us these warnings.

Filled with the Spirit

Now, this can be a controversial subject, for there are many different ideas of what it means to be filled with the Spirit. But let me share with you what I believe the Scriptures teach on this. So, let’s look at this in context, and I think it will become clear what is really intended here. But let me say first off that all true believers in Jesus are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

First, let’s look at the immediate context. We are not to get drunk on wine, which is debauchery, so we are not to live lives which are out of control, under the control of the flesh, and of Satan, and of other influences. We are not to live for self and for self-pleasure. And we are not to waste away our lives on the sinful pleasures of the flesh, living for self and not for God.

Instead, we are to be filled with the Spirit of God. So, this is the exact opposite of being intoxicated and living in debauchery. So, now we are living for God and for his pleasure. Now our lives are about walking in obedience to our Lord and fulfilling his calling on our lives. Now we are living under Holy Spirit control, empowered to live holy lives, pleasing to God.

Therefore, watch out for those who are teaching a filling of the Holy Spirit that is no different from intoxication to sensual pleasures, which leads to out of control experiences rather than living under the control of the Holy Spirit in living holy lives pleasing to God. For many people mistake emotional experiences for a movement of the Holy Spirit. So, be on your guard.

If it is the Holy Spirit, it will result in people living for the Lord day in and day out, following him in obedience to his commands, living holy lives in godliness, purity, self-control, uprightness, and in morality. They will forsake their sinful practices and living for sensual pleasures, they will deny self, and they will minister God’s love and grace to others unselfishly.

They will be concerned for the walks of faith of their fellow Christians, and they will want to encourage them to live holy lives, pleasing to God, and to encourage them away from living for sin and for the flesh. And so they will, as led by the Holy Spirit, share with them spiritual words of encouragement, either through song, or through poetry, or through sharing the Scriptures, or through sharing with them what God’s word is teaching them.

When we do this, now we are living unselfishly and for God and to minister to others instead of thinking about self and self-pleasure. Now we are not being wasteful, but we are being spiritually productive, bearing the fruit of Christ’s righteousness. Now we are living thankful lives instead of selfish lives, and we are being considerate of others instead of thinking of self.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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