And "do not be drunk with wine," in which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit,
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising in your heart to the Lord,
giving thanks at all times for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, even to God the Father,
being subject to one another in the fear of God (Eph 5:18-21)
What did you conclude about the verses above and their significance. Did you see that the only two finite verbs are both passive imperatives – do not be drunk and be filled ?
Did you see that the other verbs are all related back to the two verbs mentioned above? They are all participles dependent on the second of the passive imperatives. Putting it as simply as I can, they are all –ing words and can't stand on their own. They need a finite verb to hang with and they relate to the verb "be filled by the Spirit".
The question is now, how are they related to "be filled by the Spirit"? Again put simply are they the consequence of the filling of the spirit or are they the prerequisites for being filled with the Spirit? Again, simply do the actions embodied in the participles c! ome before the filling and therefore make it possible for the filling to happen or are the result of such filling by the Spirit? I think it is the latter. When you are filled with the Spirit CONTINUALLY, not a once for all time event then you are spiritually more in tune. Spiritual things are more likely to be on the agenda of your conversations. The sense of the phrase "speaking to yourselves" is not a number of people speaking to yourself, but speaking to one another. Singing and praising, giving thanks are all naturally spiritual things to do. When you are filled with God things fall into to place or perspective. You are more likely to be able to give thanks and praise Him even when things are going wrong. Because deep down inside you know enough about the way God works to know that everything is going to be all right. God is in control and you know that even when things don't look good He is still in control. You can trust Him for the outcome.
The thought that apparently seems incongruous here is that of "being subject to one another". How does that show you are filled with the Spirit? What's the link between be filled and being subject? I will leave you to ponder that one. I will pick it up at a later time when the time is right. When all the planets are aligned and there is a cosmic sense of the rightness of the moment. It's coming, be patient. While being patient, be being filled and in the being filled, be subject.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
Life on earth is just the first letter of the first sentence in the first chapter of the great story God is writing with your life. Max Lucado
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.