Filling Our Tank With The Spirit" Ephesians 5:15-5:21
What do you do when your gas gauge starts to get low?
• I know this sounds like a pretty simple question
• But when we think about it we really have two options
• First we can stop at the next gas station and get gas
• Or we can try and make it to where we think gas is cheaper
• Now I make a lot of trips back and forth to Lincoln IL when I was going to college
• And I knew from experience that the gas at the Loves travel Plaza at exit 108
• Is a lot cheaper than gas anywhere around here
• So if I have at least a ¼ tank when I left Home
• That’s where I try and make it to before I stop to get gas
Now most of us have done this at least once
• We either want to save a couple of cents
• Or we don’t want to be inconvenienced by stopping when we are in a hurry to get somewhere
• Or maybe we forgot our wallet or check book
• But for whatever reason we are now on a mission to make it to a certain location
• And we’re driving on fumes.
As we drive we constantly watch the gauge and wonder it we’re gonna make it
• We start thinking about running out of gas and all the problems that go along with it.
• And if we do run out we find ourselves sitting on the edge of the road
• Asking ourselves “Why didn’t I just stop and get gas earlier?”
Now it’s a whole lot simplier today than it used to be
• Today we have things like cell phones, and we can text,
• Not to mention that fuel injection on cars allows them to get a whole lot better gas milage.
But BC that’s before cell phones we were left with 3 choices:
1. You have to walk to the nearest house and ask for help.
2. You had to go on a search for a pay phone.
3. You have to walk to the next station.
And once you had the gas and put it in the tank you had to
• Save some to pour in the carburetor, Which meant removing the breather.
• And then hoping it would start before it blew up.
But if you were lucky enough to make it to the filling station
• You were relieved
• And when you got back in the car and starting driving
• You starting getting cocky and thinking to yourself, “I knew I could make it!”
Well this is what sometimes happens to Christians
• People sometimes get just a little too cocky with their Christian life
• And they let their Spiritual tanks run low.
Now if you find this happening to you lately
• Then I’m here today to be your gauge
• And to warn you that you better be filling up.
With this being said lets look at Ephesians 5:15-20
What Paul is doing is warning us that we need to be careful how we live.
• Are we living the way God expects us to.
• Now notice I said expects and not wants.
• If we look at the way we live as what God wants
• It makes it sound like God has given us a choice.
And It’s true that at one time we did have a choice
• We had the choice of living however we wanted
• But that was before we accepted Christ
• After we made that commitment
• We gave up that choice.
Once we confessed Jesus as our Savior,
• Once we made the commitment to repent / buried with Him in baptism,
• It’s no longer what God wants Now it’s about what God expects
The thing is when you want something,
• The want goes away after you get it
• If you want a new car and you buy it
• Then you expect it to do ---what it’s supposed to do.
Jesus wants us to accept Him
• And then after we do --- He expects us to work for Him.
• But is that what we’re doing --- or are we just going through the motions?
• If we only act like Christians on Sunday morning when were at church
• Then that’s exactly what we are doing – We’re just going through the motions.
Because God expects us to be Christians every day of the week.
• It’s about what do we do when we aren’t here on Sunday mornings ?
Heb 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
• That means that we don’t skip coming to church
• But the writer of Hebrews isn’t just limiting the statement
• To Sunday morning worship.
What he is saying is that if anything is happening at the church
• We should be here
Illustration: It’s every athlete’s dream to participate in a contest and win that contest
• Doesn’t matter if it’s for themselves or for a team
• But if they want to have a chance of winning, they know they have to practice.
• So they spend hours practicing just for the contest.
As Christians we need to spend as much time as we can
• Meeting together for the purpose of glorifying Christ
• It’s not just limited to Sunday mornings.
Paul tells us in verse 16 to make the most of every opportunity,
• Why? Because the days are evil.
• Paul isn’t saying to live it up because tomorrow may never come.
• He’s saying make the most out of every opportunity for God.
• In other words live the way that God expects.
• And we do this by Helping others, witnessing to others,
• Giving to others, And being a witness to others.
In order for us to win people to Christ they need to see that Christ is in us.
Illustration: We know what a person is by their uniform.
• We can tell a policemen, or a nurse by they way they are dressed.
• The Bible says when we accept Christ we should put on Christ.
• Just like a uniform
• So that people can take one look at us and see we’re Christians.
If we use the Lord’s name in vain, we are not being a good witness
• If we enjoy telling or listening to dirty jokes, we’re not being a good witness.
• If we forward inappropriate emails or texts we’re not being a good witness
• Anytime we’re doing something that God doesn’t approve of,
• We’re bringing shame to Christianity.
Illustration: We stand during the National Anthem
• And we place our hand over our heart
• We also do this when we recite the pledge of allegiance
• Why? Because We do this to show honor and respect
• We don’t disrespect our flag or our nation,
But if we call ourselves Christians
• And we don’t act like it we’re bring shame to Jesus
• That’s why you hear people talk about so many hypocrites in church.
We need to make the most of every opportunity because God expects it.
• In Verse 17 Paul tells us we need to understand the Lord’s will.
• But do we understand His will?
• If I were to ask you what God’s will is
• Would you know the answer?
• What would you say
God gave us this small amount of time on Earth, but do we know why?
• Society thinks were here to make money and to buy stuff.
• But if that’s true why did the people of Israel had it so tough?
• They were God’s chosen people but they spent their lives roaming around the desert for 40 years
• Eating manna, getting bit by snakes, and living in tents.
What kind of lifestyle is that?
• We complain when the cable TV is out, or power goes off,
• We complain when the radio in our car loses the station.
Who are we trying to kid?
• God created us for a purpose and that purpose is to serve Him!!!
• In Verse 18 Paul warns us not get drunk on wine because it leads to debauchery.
What does Debauchery mean?
• It’s the over indulgence in sensual pleasures.
• Every one of us here today knows that if we drink an excessive amount of alcohol
• We do stupid things
• We say and do things that we normally wouldn’t do if we were sober.
And Paul is telling us that we need to be filled with the Spirit instead.
• The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to lead us
• And if alcohol is affecting the way we think
• Then the Holy Spirit is no longer in control.
Now even though Paul refers here to getting drunk
• We have a tendency to get drunk on other things,
• Or maybe a better way to phrase it is we are consumed by other things.
• Sometimes it is work, sometimes it is pleasure.
God expects us to work,
• But at the same time He expects us to enjoy our life
• But when we put those things ahead of the Lord
• Then our tanks start running low.
When going to a ball game is more important than going to church then our tank is running low.
• When Christians get together to fellowship and we stay home Because Survivor is on
• Our tank is running low.
• When the Holy Spirit is not part of the decisions we make, then our tank is running low.
And the worst thing about when this happens is that the Holy Spirit won’t stay where He’s not wanted?
If we are not taking advantage of the Holy Spirit
• If we’re not using him for the reason God that gave Him to us He’ll leave.
• And Satan moves in
In verse 19 Paul says that we are to speak to each other
• With psalms, / hymns, / spiritual songs,
• And that we are to sing and make music with our hearts
• And we are doing it all for God.
Why would Paul put this verse in with the ones we have already read?
• Did you ever whistle or sing when you were in a bad mood
• Or when everything was going wrong?
Illustration: If we have a flat tire on the way to work
It would be a little hard to sing, ”Oh what a beautiful morning” wouldn’t it
Paul knows that if we are filled with the spirit
• We can handle the things that upset us
• And most of the time it’s other people.
• So Paul wants us to have a song in our heart
• A song that will make us happy toward each other.
• And when we do we’ll always be giving thanks to God for everything.
The last thing that Paul tells us is that we nees to submit to one another
• Out of reverence for Christ.
• Reverence simply means to have a deep respect for someone.
• Now we should respect others but the key word here is deep
• We should have a deep respect for Christ
• Because He’s the only one who is truly reverend.
Everything Paul is talking about in these verses
• Refers to our being filled with the Holy Spirit.
• If the Holy Spirit is not leading our lives,
• We need to fill our tank before it’s too late