Eugene Peterson’s book Eat this Book teaches us to chew on a passage of scripture, digest it, and then put it to use in practical ways. Our early Christian fathers and mothers called this process Lectio Divina. In these verses from the letter to the Ephesians, Paul calls us to offer ourselves to the Holy Spirit and be free to sing praises at all times.
Drink the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 5: 18-20 (MSG)
Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.
Timothy Brown, author of an essay on the book of Ephesians in The Spiritual Formation Bible, says that we are to read the book as saints, “people set apart for the purposes of God.” We are to read Paul’s words as the “faithful,” always do – “on bended knee wearing blue jeans” because we are to be ready to act when we pray and meditate. Brown reminds us that “Ephesians is not a vapid call for spiritual detachment; it is an urgent call for spiritual athleticism. If we do not read it ready to pray and eager to rise up, we will be left wondering.”
In these Ephesians 5:18-20, the action required is to “drink the Holy Spirit of God.” The word “drink” reminds us that the Spirit is to dwell inside us. We are to swallow the Spirit and his teachings. And then we are to sing and sing some more. Huge draughts of the Holy Spirit will enable us to praise God with our lips and with our actions.
♥ This soul-training exercise changed my life. It is one way to “drink the Spirit of God.” Sit in a chair. Imagine that you have an extra layer of skin (or even full body armor that keeps the Holy Spirit out of the innermost parts of your life. Hold this image in your mind for a moment. Then peel off the barrier (actually pretending to do the peeling is very helpful). Invite the Spirit to take up permanent residence in your body and make you God’s tabernacle. If you know the song Holy Spirit Rain Down, you might want to sing or play it. Then sit quietly until you feel that the work is incomplete.
♥ God lives in you through the Holy Spirit. If you were fully aware every moment that God is a part of you, how would your speech, behavior, thought life, and attitudes change. Ask the Holy spirit to help you be more aware of God in your every day life.
♥ The Holy Spirit empowers us for mission. Ask the Holy Spirit to specifically unveil your mission, your calling, your purpose.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“The church is not going to be different until someone in it is different. God waits for each of us to hear, “Behold I do a new thing – – through you. The question is always: Can we open our lives so that the Holy Spirit may descend and new power break through so that we may be the kind of person around whom renewal begins” (Elizabeth O’Connor in Call to Commitment).
image of Holy Spirit by www.facebook.com/EmperorEmmanuel.Zion