Encouragement for your daily walk with God
A Spirit-filled heart is a thankful heart. Paul made that very clear in his letter to the Ephesian Christ followers. “Don’t be filled with wine,” he commanded, “be filled with the Spirit” [Ephesians 5.18}. Thankfully, that was not the end of his teaching. He went on to describe what the Spirit-filled life looks like.
Grammatically, it’s done by a series of participles. (We don’t have the same structure in English. Our participles modify nouns, but the Greek language has participles that modify verbs.) Here is the list of them from Ephesians 5.18-21:
SINGING & MAKING MELODY
“Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs…” I call this a righteous, God-talking heart. Spirit-filled people will have God on their lips and find ways to tell of His greatness.
“Singing and making melody…” I call this a joyful heart. A Spirit-filled life is characterized by a joyful attitude. He or she finds a way to “…consider it all joy…” [James 1.2], even in the most difficult of times.
“Giving thanks for everything…” I call this a thankful heart. Back to this in a second.
“Submitting to one another…” I call this a submissive heart. A Spirit-filled heart doesn’t always have to have his or her own way.
The third evidence of the Spirit-filled life in today’s passage, is an attitude of perpetual thanksgiving directed to God. That kind of attitude is so different from the world. One of Paul’s descriptions of unregenerate man is that they are unthankful [see Romans 1.21]. But when God transforms a life by filling it with the Holy Spirit, a transformation takes place. We are changed from ingrates into profoundly grateful people.
Spirit-filled people, unlike those in the world, are content with God’s provision; thankful for everything — even the smallest of joys. It must be that we understand that we really deserve nothing from God except His wrath against sin, so we are thankful for every act of grace we receive!
I’m not saying it’s easy to be perpetually thankful. It’s very difficult at times, but not impossible. Daniel “prayed and gave thanks” [Daniel 6.10], knowing that his life was in mortal danger. Jonah cried out “with a voice of thanksgiving” [Jonah 2.9] from the inside of a fish submarine! Add to that God’s promise to work all things together for our good and His glory [Romans 8.28] — These three things alone can inspire us to be thankful in all things.
”…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5.20