Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5:15-21

“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 in your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:18-20)

From the beginning of the fourth chapter in his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul applies the gospel to real life situations.  He is now coming to a section in which he will address the most basic relationships we have:  husbands and wives (5:22-33), parents and children (6:1-4), and work relationships (6:5-9).  Before he gets to the specifics in these relationships, he gives two critically important principles that apply to all these relationships:  be filled with the Spirit (v. 18) and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (v. 21).  These two imperatives are necessary to develop healthy relationships with one another.

Being filled with the Spirit means that we yield to the Spirit’t control of our lives.  It means that the Spirit controls the way we live.  Throughout the day we make choice as to whom we allow to be in control of our lives.  Our default setting is always our own sinful and selfish desires.  But when we are filled with the Spirit, we instead yield to the presence and power of the Spirit who dwells within us.  We must learn to appropriate the Spirit’s power.  We must choose to yield to His control and to His will for our lives.

As we are filled with the Spirit, He produces fruit in us — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control” (Galatians 5:22,23).  You can see how important this fruit is to developing healthy relationships.

When we are filled with the Spirit, we will walk by the Spirit — “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).  To walk by the Spirit means that we live our lives according to the desires and will of the Spirit.  Thus, we will avoid those sinful things that our flesh desires and we will seek to honor God with the choices we make.

O Spirit of God, melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. I desire to yield to Your presence and power in my life.  I depend on Your fruit to enable me to have meaningful and healthy relationships with those I love and care about.  Enable me to walk in Your power this day.


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