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"And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18 NKJV)
While comparing the above verse with other translations, I found a couple interesting observations. First, the Holman Christian Standard Bible translates the phrase, "in which is dissipation" this way: "which leads to reckless actions." The New Living Translation reads, "Because it will ruin your life." Sunday in church, our pastor spoke concerning this verse, "You will be filled with something." As I meditate on this passage, I realize one may draw application even further than getting drunk, but anything which we pursue more than God. I think of people who spend their life pursuing wealth or career. They have no time for family or God. Their children grow up not knowing who they are. Their spouse may feel like their partner is married to their career, not him/her. For other people, it might be the pursuit of pleasure, which could include the party life among other things. Often times us believers may get caught up in the things of this world, and God gets choked out. The devil will use the things of this world to entice us, thus leading us away from the will of God. Scripture teaches us that the devil cannot snatch us out of God's hand, but he sure may wreak havoc in our lives or make us unproductive. This person also will not be growing in their faith as they ought.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. (Matthew 13:7,22 NKJV)
Take this to the extreme, this person may fall away. I am sure we all know of someone who was faithful in the church for a long time, and then they are gone. Some may even reject God, saying they "no longer believe like they once did." I am not talking about someone who started attending elsewhere, but they have left the Lord. They got caught up in the cares of this world, and drifted away. There has been a debate in Christendom for hundreds of years as to "once saved, always saved" and those who believe one can "lose their salvation." Others say, "you cannot lose your salvation, but you may choose to walk away from it." Some may call them backslidden Christians. Some will say this person "was never saved, thus there is no salvation to lose." Others will argue to the contrary. I am not going to get all caught up in this debate here. Unfortunately, people who love the Lord and are way smarter than I have argued their views for centuries. This being said, I am sure we all can agree that this is not a good place to be. How is it that this person can have assurance of their salvation? Of course we also have many in the church who have saved souls, but wasted lives. They are unfruitful in what they do for the Lord. Be it unfruitful or unsaved, this is not a wise path to take.
"For to be carnally minded is death,
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
(Romans 8:6 NKJV)
Our salvation is based upon Jesus and what He did, not on us and what we do. No amount of good works, religious rituals, or anything else can cause one to be saved. Nor will any of these things cause us to keep our salvation. Jesus went to the cross and died a brutal death so that you and I might spend eternity with Him. All you or I may do is turn from our evil ways seeking to follow Him and get down on our knees and cry out to God, "Have mercy on me, a sinner." He will then save us, not because of what we do, but because He is good. Jesus came to save sinners. Then God will give us a new heart, we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. I heard one pastor say, "We are a new species." We should be so thankful and appreciative of what Jesus did for us, we should want nothing more that to get to know Him and love Him more each and every day. Jesus said, He who loves me, Him and the Father will make their home with them. We know that we are His forever because we continue abiding in Him. What I do not understand is, why anyone would would even want to leave, those who are truly His.
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. (John 14:21,23-24 NKJV)
Let me say it again, "God makes His home with those who love Him." How cool is that? Let that one sink in.The question we must ask of ourselves, are we going to be filled with the Spirit, that is to be lead by Him or something else?