18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Let’s get this first thing out of the way quickly. This verse does not say we should not drink wine. It says to not get drunk with wine. Paul tells Timothy a little wine for the stomach is a good thing (1 Tim 5:23). I have seen a lot of contention in the church over wine or beer. To me, it is a non-issue unless the person is overdoing it, which is clearly spoken against here. Let’s not make a big deal out of it. For some, God may require total abstinence. For others He may allow a sip here and there. Who are we to judge what God will allow in someone else’s life?
The main point we need to gather here is that we are to be filled with the Spirit! When the Holy Spirit fills us, we will walk as God wants us to walk. The Spirit will convict us of sin, righteousness and judgment if we are walking contrary to God’s word (John 16:8-11). But the main reason we should be filled with the Spirit is that the Spirit cries out to praise God and will lift us up to a higher level. Notice in verse 19, Paul says we are to speak to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. This is not worship to God. This is uplifting talk to ourselves! How many of you need a pick-me-up once in a while? I do! As I walk in the Spirit, He rises up within me and causes me to worship within myself to God. You can be sure that will lift your own spirits to new heights. I know it does for me!
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Always. Not some of the time. Always. Not only when I feel like it. Always. Not only when things are going right. Always. Give thanks always for all things. All things. Give thanks for all things. You mean am supposed to thank Him for the hard times and trials? All things. This is a hard concept to grasp and that is why I am repeating it so much. It is similar to Phil 4:4, where Paul tells us go rejoice in the Lord always. If you missed my comments on that, you can read them HERE,
This is no misprint or mistake. It’s easy to give thanks for the good times, when things are going right. But understanding that the trials in life are there to help us grow, we can easily give thanks in the middle for them. Thanks that God loves us enough to bring growing pains into our lives. Thanks that we know He will bring us through anything that comes our way. Thanks that He walks with us through the fire and through the storm. Giving thanks always will free us from worry and doubt. Thanksgiving lifts our spirits above the doldrums of life, and into heavenly places.
Practice giving thanks for all things. You will quickly learn the benefits of this practice.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
One to another. No one is above another, except your Pastor. And the Pastor is servant to all, as Jesus was. Submitting does not mean we are subservient. It does not mean we become second class citizens in the church. It is simply that we acknowledge that all are equal and have the same rights to express their opinions and views. All are important, from the elders all the way to the janitor. It s so important that, if we hold a position on the church that is more visible, like elder or worship leader, that we never see ourselves as more important. I’ve been there, and I never want to go back there. Stay humble on your ministry, whatever it is.