Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21 ESV
My friend, Dr. Shelby, would often say, “The rich and the poor have this in common. They each have the same amount of 24 hours to spend each day. They can’t add more minutes to do more stuff and they can’t take any away. Each chooses how they will spend their minutes.”
Paul shares that one of the differences between a wise person and a foolish person is found in the way they spend their time. The Psalmist reminds us to ask the Lord, “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Our passage today shares a secret help for those who are followers of Christ. Others can make plans or not make plans. They can party all day or work like there is no tomorrow. They can pursue happiness as their goal in life or live on the streets. But for the Christian, Paul says we have one big advantage to know how to live out each and every day.
BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
- If you limit yourself to only engaging the Holy Spirit during worship services,
- If you think He is only present during the singing,
- If you think He comes and goes when you need advice,
- If you have never been taught how important Jesus felt about the Holy Spirit (He told them not to go anywhere until they received His presence and power),
- If someone has not taught you what the abiding voice of the Spirit sounds like to you,
- THEN you are living daily in the most unwise fashion.
Here are some advantages to living life under the influence of The Spirit of God
- The Spirit will lead you everyday into the most productive use of your time.
- He gives supernatural boldness to proclaim you are a follower of Jesus
- He provides a way of escape from temptation and convicts of sin and ushers forgiveness when you fail to listen on the front side of temptation
- He illuminates the life and light of Jesus upon your heart and mind
- He transforms you into the most attractive Jesus person look alike with His ever increasing fruit in your life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
How may this work for you?
ASK. Each day ask God to fill your life, heart and mind with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. By faith, believe that God’s loving influence will guide you through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Listen and engage in dialogue with Him all throughout your day. Repeat as often as necessary. Our engagement with the world and old patterns of doing life without God, cause us to leak or reveal the need to “drink” from the Spirit again and again during the day.
On this Monday Mantra, make a decision to include inviting the Holy Spirit into your routine of planning your day and your week. It is more than filling in a check box. Invite Him to look over your schedule for adjustments. Ask Him to lead you to people who need Jesus (some will not be in your calendar).
The advantage of a Spirit influenced life means that your decisions are rooted in the best for eternity’s sake. Jesus, knowing that Lazarus was sick, waited to go to him until he was dead. Mary ripped at Him for not coming sooner – a timing issue. Jesus waited, because God had an eternity revelation for resurrection for the world to experience.
Following the Holy Spirit leading will not always lead from point A to B, but it will advance God’s purposes on the earth. Learn to let Him lead. Start with the most important relationships in your life first, to organize your time activities.
Scheduling relationships first with the help of the Holy Spirit
- How does your schedule align with loving the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, mind and strength? When do you spend time with Him?
- How is your time spent loving your wife as Jesus loves the church or serving your “other spouse” as more important than yourself. (I think I just remembered some “honey do’s” that would make my wife feel honored)
- Providing for your family leads to your work impact. What would a Spirit-filled person look like, say and do in your work environment?
- Jesus blessed the children. How does your interaction with your children advance blessing for them?
After you grapple with making adjustments to love and serve those who are in your sphere of influence with the guidance of the Spirit, you are free to schedule the rest of your time.
Holy Spirit leading, controlled and influenced organizing of your time makes you one of the wisest people on the planet. Have fun living out this Monday Mantra.
Blessings Love y’all