Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Be Filled With The Spirit, Not Drunk With Wine

Eph 5:15-20 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; (nasb)

I had a really good conversation with my oldest son yesterday. After swimming with the current in the river of worldliness, he was called back to the Lord about 14 months ago. He has really been asking provocative questions regarding his faith lately and yesterday was no exception. As with many of us, he is concerned that his attitudes and feelings towards others and his sinful behavior will negate his Christian faith and keep him from eternal living. I believe it is a problem of equating good works with sanctification.

In our conversation he asked whether or not he was saved if he found himself being critical of some people he encounters and when he sins. He was also not completely clear what we mean when Lori and I tell him that the fruit of the Christian walk comes from being in Christ and not by simply trying to be a good person.

As I listened to Lori discuss this with Him I was compelled to share what it meant to be in Christ in a way he might understand more easily, so she handed me the telephone. Here is how I described it to him... Now keep in mind, he is almost twenty one so I thought this analogy might be of some use...

Think of a time in your life where you were at a party and people were consuming alcohol. There were those who drank a small amount and the effects of the alcohol were minimal to the way they acted. There were those who drank moderately and the effects were even greater, and those who drank so much that it was obvious that they were under the influence and all they did and said was affected by their filling up on the alcohol. He said he got that part... ok, next I told him to visualize the ones who pretended to be drinking. They may act like they have similar characteristics as the ones who are drunk, but everyone knows it is an act and eventually they can't pretend any longer. He got it...

I said to now equate that to being filled with Christ rather than being filled with alcohol. There are those who dabble a little in the Word or moderately read and apply the Bible and their life sort of reflects it. There are those who act like they know God and attempt good deeds because they want to look like a good Christian, and then there are those who are so consumed by the Word of God that everything they do is a reflection of them being bathed in the Word...

"Now," he said, "I think I really get it."

So I said to him, "Spend your energy and effort falling in love with God and your actions and attitudes towards others will come from there, not the other way around."

Often we try so hard to be good that we miss out on spending time filling ourselves with Christ and allowing the goodness of God to just naturally flow out of us. As I encouraged Nick yesterday, I too was encouraged by the Word of God. Fill yourselves with the Spirit of God and do not get drunk with wine...

Lord, please help me to put aside the many distractions in my day and make more time to fill myself with your Spirit. I want to bless others and I know that if I do it out of my own strength it is simply works, but if I do it through your spirit it is the fruit of my salvation. Paul tells us in Romans that we are justified by our faith and not by our works lest we boast and suffer the judgment of God. Help me Lord to focus my attention on my faith and let you do a good work through me.

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