Good morning, friends,
Well, my boy is in surgery. I’m sure he’s doing great. I have thought this morning about a difficult day I had on Sunday. I can’t tell you how much I was swamped by worry and doubt and fear. And then as I began to ponder my post for today, things just started to fall together.
..ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.
19 Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [[e]and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,
What struck me about the passage was how if we are first filled and stimulated with the Spirit what a different direction we take in our thoughts, actions and so on. The Spirit is so critical to the next part, the rest cannot happen without a filling of the Spirit.
I must have studied this passage earlier because I had written this passage in the margins.
20 You shall command the Israelites to provide you with pure oil of crushed olives for the light, to cause it to burn continually [every night].
21 In the Tent of Meeting [of God with His people], outside the veil which sets apart the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it burning from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute to be observed on behalf of the Israelites throughout their generations.
The oil was to never go out. It was to continually be filled and so the light will always burn.
If we are expecting to have a life filled with the Spirit, we need to live our lives intentionally asking the Spirit to fill our lives. Keeping His Word close to our hearts. Then look at the next part of Ephesians…
Speak out psalms to one another. We need to be speaking the Word to one another. We need to be encouraging one another with hymns, psalms and other songs. Yet, I would also say we need to encourage our own souls with the ministry of the Word. The ministry of songs, hymns…it cannot be overemphasized.
When fear creeps over our hearts, when life circumstances threaten to rock our boat…give glory to God!
At all times, giving thanks. Just like the oil, burning bright because the Word, the hymns, the songs and the real process of giving thanks. Saying thank you. This seems so simple yet it is transformational.
So as we understand the Word of God more and more, as we are filled by His Spirit, as we cling to the truth we can further understand the deeper meanings of Jesus’ teachings and the relationship of the New Testament and Old. Do you see what is happening? We are taking the focus off of ourselves and placing it where it belongs. On Him. When we worry, we sin. Plain and simple. When we get angry and blow up, we sin. When we gossip, we sin. Yet, if we are filling our minds with all that Ephesians 5 is saying, then the Spirit is guiding and we are living free. No chains on me!
Allow me to quote Chuck Smith:
And they have been interpreting the law to govern the actions of man, where God intended the law to be speaking to the attitudes of man. Thus, in the way that they were interpreting the law, they were able to fulfill it. But in the way that the law was originally intended, because it was intended to govern the spirit of man, the law was actually intended to make the whole world guilty before God and to show man’s guilt. But rather then their reading the law and feeling guilty before God, seeking the mercy and the grace of God, they were so interpreting the law as having fulfilled the law, and thus being very pompous and very righteous and very critical of everybody else. And they were interpreting the law so that they were having this tremendous attitude of self-righteousness and pride looking down then upon everybody else.
And it was manifested, as Jesus said, when the Pharisee went into the temple and said, “Oh Father, I thank you I’m not like other men, for I fast and I pray” and you know, he’s telling God all of his good things. And Jesus said there was a sinner that went into the temple and he wouldn’t even lift his eyes toward heaven but with head bowed he just smote on his chest and said, “Oh God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:11-13). And Jesus said he went away justified and forgiven. Where the first guy, you know, his prayers meant nothing to God. Now, that’s because they were interpreting the law in a wrong way, only to govern the outward actions of man and not to deal with the spirit of all.
We can look at the law also remember:
And you see the difference where the way Jesus was interpreting it; it made us all guilty before God. The way they were interpreting it, it made them very pompous and self-righteous. But the way Jesus was interpreting it; it makes us all guilty. And that’s exactly what the law was intended to do, to make the whole world guilty before God, so that we would not seek to come before God in our own righteousness but that we would seek that righteousness that God has provided for us, that we might have that standing before God in the righteousness before God, in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. So the law was a schoolmaster to drive us to Jesus Christ.
Love it! Well, Noah is starting to wake up. So I wanted to continue on…pray on. Pray.