Posted by MK | Filed under Bible Study
“Don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t drunk with wine which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:17-21).
If you took a random poll today and simply asked people on the street what they think of when they hear the phrase, “filled with the Spirit,” you’d probably get a lot of answers:
- Ecstatic shouting and jumping around.
- Playing with snakes.
- Deep voiced preachers with a sing-songy cadence.
Interestingly, though, if you take a look at the passage above, the effects of being filled with the Spirit aren’t quite so sensational. Being filled with the Spirit results in the opposite of reckless action. Being filled results in singing songs with other Christians. And being thankful. And mutual submission.
Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Why do we look at these things – things like singing and being thankful and serving others – why do we not typically associate those attributes with the Spirit’s filling? I think I know.
I think it’s because those things are BORING.
And we don’t like BORING. In fact, being boring might be one of the greatest cultural sins of our time. As people who are constantly entertained and amused, it is baffling for us, even as Christians, to think that being filled with the Spirit of God might not result in something amazing and mystical in appearance. Surely something as amazing as having the Holy Spirit exerting His influence over us in a powerful way should result in something more sensational…
Maybe not. Or maybe we are thinking of the sensational in the wrong way. After all, isn’t it pretty sensational for a group of people to gather together and sing songs about and to a God they cannot see?
Isn’t it pretty sensational for people to sacrificially love each other?
Isn’t it pretty sensational for people to be genuinely thankful and content for who they are and what they have?
Maybe. Just maybe.