In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. Try to learn what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the things done in darkness, which are not worth anything. But show that they are wrong. It is shameful even to talk about what those people do in secret. But the light makes all things easy to see, and everything that is made easy to see can become light. This is why it is said:Â
“Wake up, sleeper!
Rise from death, and Christ will shine on you.”
So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely. Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times. So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit. Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Â Â Ephesians 5:8-20 (NCV)
Light and darkness. Vivid opposites that put this passage of Scripture in the â€œI get it but sometimes I wish I didn’tâ€ column of my Bible study. It is a passage that I haven’t heard anyone preach about but it would be good for me to hear. So maybe that is why God is â€œpreachingâ€ to me today.
As I read this I remember a night when I was about 16-years-old that was not one of my finest hours. I did a â€œsneakâ€ out of the house about 2 a.m. to meet a boy. And got caught coming back in about 5 a.m. when I couldn’t get back in the window â€“ the guy ran off! I was doing something in the dark â€“ lying, deliberately disobeying my parents, meeting a boy who was older that my parents wouldn’t approve, â€“ stuff that I would never do in the day and in public. Needless to say, my parents were angry and lowered a stiff 30-day punishment on me, but the more I know now is that they were shook that I would do something so devious. Trust was broken.
Sin is so much â€œeasierâ€ when I think I am â€œsneaking byâ€. Logic would tell me that there is nothing that I can sneak past God, but reason and truth and sin have little to do with each other, do they? I can live a â€œdouble lifeâ€ of sinning every day and attending church if my relationship with God and fellow Believers is so superficial that I neither know little about God nor do fellow Believers know little about me. If I make a decision to know God more intimately, then I am also making a decision to learn what pleases God more. His Spirit is a flashlight that illuminates all those places in my life that I might want to ignore. Psalm 90:8 says that God’s presence shines a light on my â€œsecret sinsâ€. The testimony or witness of others also brings light into my life. And remember Paul’s Tips:
- Begin each day by asking God for His wisdom so that I live wisely
- Don’t miss an opportunity to do good â€“ it pushes the evil out of my day
- Doing what God wants me to do keeps me from being foolish
- Don’t get drunk on man-made spirits but overindulge with God’s Spirit(btw, it doesn’t say not to drink â€“ just don’t slip and get drunk. Paul actually thought a little wine was good for your health â€“ 1 Timothy 5:23. Unless you hear God tell you as He did me â€“ don’t drink. I decided to take Him at His word!)
- Communicate with words that come from my heart that has been healed and filled with the beauty that is God. My words can become â€œsweet musicâ€ in another’s ears so that they give thanks to God for His work in my life.
- And thank God every day for what He has done for me and through me.
Here I Am To Worship by Tim Hughes (1999), sung by Michael W. Smith