December 7, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. - Ephesians 5:15-21 NKJV.
In Anchorage, Alaska, there was an incredible sequence of events fueled by consumption of alcohol. Two people were arrested as a result, and both had blood alcohol levels two times the limit for legally driving. Benjamin Brady while leaving the Gaslight Lounge in his Cadillac Escalade was hit by another vehicle. Brady then left his vehicle and physically hit the driver of the other vehicle. Meanwhile, Jane Tukrook got into and drove off with the Cadillac Escalade. Tukrook while driving the now stolen vehicle ran down and hit Brady's wife, Kristin Trujillo-Brady. According to Tukrook, Kristin had verbally insulted her and her children. Kristin apparently had been a passenger in the Escalade prior to Tukrook stealing the vehicle. Kristin did have a severe cut to her head, but it was not a life threatening injury.
After Tukrook was arrested, handcuffed, and awaiting transport to jail in the back of a patrol car, she kicked the rear window causing $500 in damage. Tukrook is facing additional charges by frightening bystanders who thought the Escalade was going to hit them. She is facing a total of seven criminal charges. Brady was charged with drunk driving and assault.
Even without drinking or doing drugs we sometimes act as fools, but when we consume alcohol, illegal drugs, or abuse legal drugs it makes the possibility that we will become fools a much higher probability. It is obvious in the event in Anchorage that these were not people that were filled with the Spirit. Instead, they were controlled by alcohol, and their own fleshly desires. As a result the three primarily involved in the event in Anchorage will look back upon that day as being an evil day.
The apostle Paul is not just talking about the hazards of being controlled by alcohol or other substances. Ephesians 5:18 goes far beyond that to include anything that would control our lives instead of the Holy Spirit. What are some of the other things that can sometimes control our lives and make us act like fools? Greed, envy, jealousy, lust, anger, bitterness, selfish ambition, and I am sure there are other things as well.
If we want to avoid acting like fools, and having countless evil days, we need to surrender control of our lives to the Holy Spirit. As Paul says in Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” When our lives are controlled by the Spirit the “fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)” will enable us to live wisely, and to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.