Summary: Paul is stopping all of us in our tracks as we go out into this world to represent our King and Lord and Savior as he says in so many words, "Be Careful Out There."
A number of years back there was a T.V. cop program called Hill Street Blues and it always started in a similar way.
All the officers were sitting in the briefing room getting the assignments for their shift.
Their supervising officer would brief them on the problems of the previous shift and update them new information of possible criminals they were look out for.
All the officers present would look and comment to each other about the duties at hand.
After all was said and done the briefing officer would dismiss the officers, but just as everyone was getting up and moving toward the door the commander would stop everyone in their tracks with the phrase, 'hey, be careful out there.'
The world of the police officer can be a very dangerous job protecting the public and watching each other’s back.
They have to use every skill they have learned to ensure that the job gets done effectively with out anyone getting injured.
In our text this morning Paul is stopping all of us in our tracks as we go out into this world to represent our King and Lord and Savior as he says in so many words, "Be Careful Out There."
Let’s all stand and honor God’s written Word as we read from this morning’s text.
Turn with me to Ephesians 5:18.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts.
In Ephesians 5:18 we see a warning.
A warning about the temptations, that are all around us each day here on this old earth.
It is our responsibility to realize that we no longer are part of this world that keeps us in darkness we have received Christ into our lives and our new nature cannot survive in a habitat of darkness.
If we do not take serious the calling we are to walk in, we will fall over the obstacles the enemy has placed in our paths.
Our decisions in life can have grave effect on us!
Therefore, it is imperative that we walk with our eyes wide open.
Proverbs 14:8 says; "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception."
Who’s in Control
In the time of the Ephesians, many people believed that drunkenness could produce sort of inspiration or possession by Dionysus, god of wine.
Dionysus’s most active worshipers yielded control of themselves to performing sinful acts.
Being controlled by the drunkenness of wine makes an individual act abnormal.
Rather than being in control of themselves, the wine controls them.
Unless you are not careful temptations will take you by surprise and before you know it you have been ensnared in Satan’s trap and your witness for Christ has been tarnished.
Our Lord teaches us that this world is not our home.
He has placed us here in a world, which is hostile to the things of God.
But we must still be wise in the way we represent our God.
This is the warning Jesus gave His disciples and he also has given to us in Matthew 10: 16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes (wisdom employed) and as innocent as doves."
The analogy here of being shrewd as snakes, is to be on the lookout every moment, sensing every movement and every object around you.
The Lord here is not giving us permission too somehow be underhanded as long as it is done for a godly purpose, but that we be like as innocent as doves.
We need to "make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16
You cannot do it on your own! You have to “Give Him Control.’
Give Him Control
Meaning the Holy Spirit: But be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18 (NKJV)
What does it mean to be “but be filled with the Spirit?”
Look at that verse again using the New Living Translation; Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Ephesians 5:18b (NLT)
Well, it has everything to do with God doing a work in us, not us manipulating the gifts of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit himself.
The Spirit moves at His discretion, but He moves in conjunction with the will and Word of God.
You see we don’t turn the Holy Spirit on and off like a faucet.
Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you, means that The Holy Spirit is in control of our lives and all to the glory of God.
Look what Romans 8:9 says; "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."