LISTEN: How to Walk in the Light, Part 9 — Ephesians 5:17-21 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #20 with Daniel Whyte III)

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 5:17-21:

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

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;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


Paul David Washer said, “I used to tell young preachers, in order to preach you’ve got to have the power of God on your life. Now I tell them, in order to tie your shoes you’ve got to have the power of God on your life.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord the less entertainment you need.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “When home is ruled according to God’s Word, angels might be asked to stay a night with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element.”

Paul continues to talk about what it means for us to walk as children of the light in a world full of darkness. He commands, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

Paul is not telling us that Christians should not drink wine at all. (In fact, he tells Timothy to drink wine for his body’s sake.) He is commanding Christians not to get drunk or become intoxicated. He says becoming drunk is “excess.” This word means profligate or wasteful. A person who is drunk repeatedly is wasting his life, his health, and his time. He cannot be used effectively for God’s purpose if He has no control over his own body and mind. He is controlled by his drinking habit, and Christians are not to be controlled by anything or anyone but God.

That is why Paul includes a parallel command — “but be filled with the Spirit.” In the Bible, the word “filled” means “controlled by.” A man who is filled with the Holy Spirit is controlled by the Holy Spirit. When you are controlled by the Holy Spirit, you are in your right mind — the mind of Christ. The Christ-mind will lead you and guide you to do the right things and not to waste your life, your or your time.

We need more people who are filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit in our homes. If husbands, wives, and children were filled with the Holy Spirit, we would have fewer arguments, less fighting, fewer divorces, less rebelliousness, and more obedience, more love, more harmony, and more peace.

Warren Wiersbe said, “We usually think of the power of the Spirit as necessary for preaching and witnessing, and this is true. But Paul wrote that the Spirit’s fullness is also needed in the home. If our homes are to be a heaven on earth, then we must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can walk in harmony as husbands and wives, parents and children]), and employers and employees. The unity of the people of God that Paul described must be translated into daily living if we are to enjoy the harmony that is a foretaste of heaven on earth. ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ is God’s command, and He expects us to obey. The command is plural, so it applies to all Christians and not just to a select few. The verb is in the present tense — ‘keep on being filled’ — so it is an experience we should enjoy constantly and not just on special occasions. And the verb is passive. We do not fill ourselves but permit the Spirit to fill us. The verb ‘fill’ has nothing to do with contents or quantity, as though we are empty vessels that need a required amount of spiritual fuel to keep going. In the Bible, filled means ‘controlled by.’ ‘They were filled with wrath’ means ‘they were controlled by wrath’ and for that reason tried to kill Jesus. ‘The Jews were filled with envy’ means that the Jews were controlled by envy and opposed the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. To be ‘filled with the Spirit’ means to be constantly controlled by the Spirit in our mind, emotions, and will.” He goes on to mention that there are three traits that are apparent in the life of everyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. We will be dealing with these in the next few messages in this series, but those three marks are: joyfulness, thankfulness, and submissiveness.

We must allow ourselves to continuously be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Just as we do not rely on yesterday’s breakfast for today’s strength, we cannot rely on the Spirit-filling that we received yesterday for the situations and conflicts that we will face today. We must ask God to fill us and control us every day and every hour of the day.

Let’s pray.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.