“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. ” (Eph 5:14-18 KJV)
Could it be possible that we are still sleeping? And if so, how should we realize it if no one wakes us up by shining Christ’s light into our very hearts?
John Wesley in his “Notes on the Bible” put the exegesis of the verses above this way.
Verse 14. Wherefore he – God. Saith – In the general tenor of his word, to all who are still in darkness. Awake thou that sleepest – In ignorance of God and thyself; in stupid insensibility. And arise from the dead – From the death of sin. And Christ shall give thee light – Knowledge, holiness, happiness.
Verse 15. Circumspectly – Exactly, with the utmost accuracy, getting to the highest pitch of every point of holiness. Not as fools – Who think not where they are going, or do not make the best of their way.
Verse 16. With all possible care redeeming the time – Saving all you can for the best purposes; buying every possible moment out of the hands of sin and Satan; out of the hands of sloth, ease, pleasure, worldly business; the more diligently, because the present are evil days, days of the grossest ignorance, immorality, and profaneness.
Verse 17. What the will of the Lord is – In every time, place, and circumstance.
Verse 18. Wherein is excess – That is, which leads to debauchery of every kind. But be ye filled with the Spirit – In all his graces, who gives a more noble pleasure than wine can do.
Briefly, we are still sleeping if we are stumbling through the darkness of sin. And if we do not know Christ – the Word – yet, we are neither able to grasp the depth of His written word nor can we be made holy or be happily walking in His light. We urgently need to be filled with the light of His Spirit so that we can easily put away sin, worldly pleasures, and other distractions AND – finally, are capable of living a happy life.
Wait a moment…..”A happy life”? Shouldn’t we take our crosses and lose our life? Does that sound like love, peace, and harmony?
No – and yes.
No, with regard to our old lives to which we have been used. Our old habits, our likes and dislikes, and our focus on the visible realm with its physical bodies and material things. Knowing the Lord means to lose that old life and that loss may cause some pain for a certain time until the Lord gives us new life, spiritual life, which makes us forget the old things completely.
So – yes. Love, peace, and harmony – a happy life in the Spirit does exist. If not, what is redemption then? Who wants to be redeemed from his old life if the new life is not REALLY better than the old?
Our Lord promised – and He always keeps His promises – that He will give us not only rest for our souls if we obey Him by listening to His guidance in all things (Mt 11:29), but that we would also have an abundant, spiritually blessed life (Jn 10:10), we would be given His peace (Jn 14:27), and His joy so that our joy might be – yes, FULL (Jn 15:11). It seems the apostle John knew what he was talking about… 😉
Have a blessed weekend and an ever increasing happiness – in Him!