Being Consumed by the Holy Spirit
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 (Ephesians 5:15-21).
There is lots here for us today – a summons to self-reflection, to wise living and good time management, to conscientiously walking in step with the Holy Spirit, to having a continuous outlook of worship and gratitude, and to mutual submission out of humble devotion to Christ.
I am reminded afresh today of the power of being "filled with the Spirit". Here Paul warns us not to be consumed or to live under the influence of wine. Rather, we are to be consumed and to live under the influence the Holy Spirit. While Paul does use the example of the elixir of alcohol, the application is certainly broader. We must be mindful of those things which can consume us: the tonic of power, the vice of greed, the eroding control of bitterness, the discontent of envy – the list goes on. Paul says, by way of dramatic contrast – don't allow yourself to fall under the spell of counterfeits! Rather, live moment by moment with the awareness that the God of the universe dwells inside of you and wants to empower you.
Ruminate on that for some time as you launch into your day…and then, let the Holy Spirit work through you. It's actually an imperative. We can choose to obey or disobey.
Michael B. Pawelke, DMin