Eph 5:18-21 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
Paul has just admonished us not to be unwise, but to understand what the will of the Lord is. It is not the will of the Lord that we be drunk with wine. This is true in a very literal sense, but the lesson here is not to give ourselves over to the influence of anything that causes us to abandon all moral reason. It is possible to become intoxicated with position, status, worldly gain, and the list goes on. When we become intoxicated with something (or someone), that thing takes control of our lives.
When we are filled with the Spirit, there is no room for the things that influence us to excess. Being filled with the Spirit assures us that the Spirit is in control of our lives. We are instructed here in the ways we can be filled with the Spirit. When we become drunk with wine, that state does not last unless we continue to drink to the point of intoxication. While we do not command the Spirit by any means, Paul tells us that there are things we can do to be filled with the Spirit.
When we find ourselves overrun by the cares of the world, we can speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. I love that this is not something we have to go seek out others to help us do. We can “speak” to ourselves. If the darkness seems to be encroaching on us, we can lift our heart in song. It does not have to be something we do out loud, although there is nothing wrong with that either. When we are making melody (Strong’s definition is “touching the surface”) in our hearts to the Lord, we find the Spirit moving in us. Our joy and peace are strengthened. The cares of the world are driven back as the Spirit fills us with joy in the Lord.
As we make melody in our hearts with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, we should find ourselves giving thanks unto God. When we begin to thank Him for the influence of His Spirit and the melody that He has placed in our hearts, we will find ourselves in a place of worship. Worship should never be confined to a building we have designated as a “church.” Our meeting places are not church; we are church. We are where the singing and giving thanks to God are. If we are diligent to always give thanks, then there is no room for the influence of those things which rob us of our joy.
It is a wonderful thing when we have grown in grace sufficiently to give God thanks for all things. We should give Him thanks for our trials because then we find that He is an ever present help in time of trouble. We should give Him thanks in our infirmities because then we find ourselves drawing closer to Him. We should give Him thanks for joy because in this He shows that He is all in all. We truly should give thanks to God for all things. Our thanksgiving should always be given in the authority and character (name) of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we are filled with the Spirit, we find that we then have the ability to serve. We can come and willingly submit ourselves to one another. Being filled with the Spirit prevents us from seeking to rule over our brothers and sisters. Rather, it humbles us because we revere God the Father. We trust the Spirit to bless our servitude to abound to His glory and praise.
May we constantly speak to ourselves with singing and making melody in our hearts, always giving God the Father thanks for allowing us to serve!