Day 42 - the Spirit at work in the Church
In your own words ask God to help you hear and understand what He’s saying through His Word, and give thanks for the Holy Spirit that is empowering you to walk with Him after this devotional is done. Then read these verses (out loud if you are able).
Ephesians 5:18-21 (NLT)
18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
God commands us to be filled with His Holy Spirit, and Paul uses the illustration of being drunk as a metaphor for what being under the influence of the Spirit is like. If you happen to be struggling with drinking too much alcohol and are reading this, take God’s word to heart that it can ruin your life. The invitation here though is to continue to allow the Spirit of God to fill us moment by moment. So what does that look like? Well Paul gives a beautiful communal picture.
It looks like joyfully singing together with God’s people. Just as alcohol can influence people to be uninhibited in pursuing fleeting earthly glee, the Spirit of God frees us to joyfully come together as the people of God to celebrate Him and sing His truth to one another. More than just singing, when we are filled with God’s Spirit, it’s as if our hearts are releasing a song to God. Moreover, when we are filled with the Spirit we have thankful hearts, so the song we are expressing to God is an overflow of thanksgiving to God.
In this picture of worship together, we also see relationship with God and with one another. As we are filled with the Spirit we give thanks to the Father in the name of Jesus, and out of a desire to honor Jesus we also are submitting to one another. All this is made possible by God’s Spirit.
So we see that being filled with the Spirit of God is not just for ourselves to be better individuals or live more righteous lives. There is a communal element. As I allow the Spirit of God to fill me, I should understand that it is for relationship with God and His people so that we might bring glory to God together. Every person matters in this. Each voice is important, and our heavenly Father is inviting each one of us to join the song of declaring His glory with thanksgiving as worship to Him and to one another for the encouragement and building up of His body.
Are you being filled with the Spirit in such a way that you experience a song of thanksgiving in your heart to the Lord? Why or why not? What is the condition of your heart?
Invite God to fill you with His Spirit and ask Him to give you a worshipping heart. Spend some time practicing thanksgiving to the Lord by telling your Father in heaven what you are thankful for in Jesus’ name. Ask God to reveal if there is any way He is inviting you to submit to someone in order to honor Him. Say yes to Him as He leads you.