Dissipated or Spirit Filled?

Posted on 01/08/2012 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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HE HAS MADE ME GLAD

I will enter His gates
with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter His courts
with praise
I will say this is the day
that the Lord hath made
I will rejoice for
He has made me glad

He has made me glad
He had made me glad
I will rejoice for
He has made me glad


AH LORD GOD

Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thy great power
Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thine outstretched arm.

Nothing is too difficult for Thee
Nothing is too difficult for Thee
Great and mighty God
Great in counsel and mighty in deed

Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing
Nothing is too difficult for Thee


IN HIM WE LIVE

In him we live and move and have our being
In him we live and move and have our being

Make a joyful noise
Sing unto the Lord
Tell Him of your love
Dance before him
Make a joyful noise
Sing unto the Lord
Tell Him of your love
Hallelujah


HALLELUJAH

Hallelujah, hallelujah
for the Lord God almighty reigns
Hallelujah, hallelujah
for the Lord God almighty reigns
Hallelujah

(You are) Holy, holy
are you Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb
Amen


HOLY HOLY HOLY

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
holy holy is he
Sing a new song to him who sits on
heaven's mercy seat

Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty
who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings
you are my everything and I will adore you

Clothed in rainbows of living color
flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength, glory and power be
to you the only wise king

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
at the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power, breath and living water
such a marvelous mystery


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Let's read a few verses from Ephesians chapter five.

Ephesians 5:15-21

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

This passage is talking about sound, wise, and Godly living which springs forth from a sound, wise, and Godly attitude and heart. Today's message title, "Dissipated or Spirit Filled?" came from verse eighteen which says, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit."

I don't believe the focus of the first part of this verse is "wine," but "dissipation." This could be accurately worded, "Don't get drunk, because that is dissipation." It's not the wine that is pointed out in this Scripture as the culprit, any more than food is evil just because the Bible forbids gluttony; rather, the bad guy here is "dissipation."

The original Greek word used here is the word "asotia ( a-so-te'-a )", which means "an abandoned, dissolute life." Since that might seem a bit unclear, let's look at the definition of "dissipation" in our own language.

Dissipation is:

a wasting by misuse
mental distraction; amusement; diversion
useless or profitless activity
using, expending, consuming thoughtlessly or carelessly

Let's read that verse again: "Do not be drunk with wine, wherein is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit." This is written in the form of a contrast. On one end of the scale is dissipation. On the other end is being filled with the Spirit.

Dissipation is on one end of the block, so to speak, and the filling with the Holy Spirit is on the other. The closer you get to one, the father away you stray from the other. You cannot be both places at the same time.

So let's look at the definitions of dissipation, and see how it relates to our lives.


1. A wasting by misuse

We've all done this, and at least most of us do this every day to a greater or lesser extent. We misuse our time. We misuse our energy. We misuse our words. We misuse our attention. We misuse our finances. We misuse our gifts and abilities. And when we do this, we are wasting our time, our energy, and our words; we are wasting our attention, our finances, and our God-given gifts and talents. This is dissipation, and it moves us away from the level to which the Holy Spirit wishes to fill us.

Here's one example: Elvis Presley had an incredible gift from God. Before he was even conceived in the womb, God had layed a path for him to follow. And he began on this path at an early age, singing hymns of praise and glorifying God with his voice.

But contrary to the opinions of the world, Elvis wasted his gift by misuse. Instead of bringing glory to God, he chose to bring glory to himself and to the things and the ways of the world. And while he won incredible fame and fortune, he lost something many many times more valuable than that. He lost his direction; he abandoned his purpose; and instead of being filled with the glory of the Living God, he chose dissipation, and he threw his life away.

The world would see him as a success. But from a heavenly perspective, he was a failure. And if we look at his life for even a moment through Kingdom eyes, we will see, with great sorrow, the empty futility of a life lived outside of the plan of God and void of the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit. Instead of leading empty, bound souls into freedom, fulfillment, and overflowing and everlasting joy and life, he pointed them to gratification of the carnal nature. And the way in which his life ended gives evidence to his own realization that, while everyone else saw him as the king, he knew deep down that he had wasted his whole life. The "King of Rock -N- Roll" was no king at all, for he had dissipated his gifts and his calling in exchange for fool's gold.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life always end in hopelessness, emptiness, and death. Don't be fooled. Don't be dissipated. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, and follow hard after God.


2. Mental distraction; amusement; diversion

There's nothing wrong with entertainment. We all need time to unwind and relax. Sometimes a healthy distraction, a good diversion, and some clean, fun amusement is just what the doctor ordered.

But as a society and as a people, we tend to have way too much mental distraction, amusement, and diversion. We allow ourselves to get lulled into comfortable complacency. And if these things are threatened, we become annoyed or even angry.

We are entertainment addicts. Almost all of us should enroll in the local Entaholics Anonomous, if there was one. Statistics state that people on average spend close to three hours per day in front of the television, and many people spend a lot more than that. When we're not watching television, many of us are listening to the radio, or reading a magazine, or playing a game. We enjoy entertainment. And we grow to crave it, experiencing withdraw symptoms of anxiety and depression if we're too long without it.

Once again, let me make it clear that entertainment in itself is not wrong any more than food and wine, and it CAN be a very good thing.

Let's go back to our verse in Ephesians and change the source of our culprit: "Do not over-indulge in entertainment, for that is dissipation." If we spend more time pleasing ourselves than seeking to please God, we're diverting our focus from our purpose for living and breathing and the source of that life, and it's no wonder we become unsure of or unmotivated by what we are on this earth to do.

So let's try turning off the television an evening or two this week, and put down our magazines and turn off the radio and any other distraction that would dissipate our focus and spiritual pursuit of God, and just get in his presence. Seek after him. Get in an attitude of worship and prayer; search the Scriptures, and examine your own heart. Ask God how He wants you to spend your time, your days, your energy, your gifts, your talents and abilities, and your finances, and then change your priorities accordingly.

Let's stop being drunk with too much entertainment and self-gratification so that we can be filled with the Spirit of God. And your life will take on a whole new dimension of meaning, purpose, and power as you begin to move solidly forward on the path God has designed just for you.


Let's read a few verses before our passage in Ephesians chapter five, beginning with verse eight:

Ephesians 5:8-14

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says:

Awake, you who sleep,
arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.


While we once were in the darkness, seeking to please and comfort ourselves, we now are in the light; and as children of light, we should be seeking to please God, as verse ten says, "finding out what is acceptable to the Lord."

One of the definitions of the word "dissipation" is "useless or profitless activity." This sounds like verse eleven which says, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." The unfruitful works of darkness, useless or profitless activity, unfruitful -- dissipation. The works of darkness are not just those things that are obviously evil to us. Rather, they include those things which are useless or profitless.

A family vacation is useful and profitable. Even treating yourself or a friend or loved one to dinner and a movie can be useful and profitable. Enjoying a beautiful sunset or sailing on a peaceful sea can be useful and profitable. It can even be a form of worship, as we sing the Creator's praises by deeply appreciating His gifts to us in what He has made.

If something is pleasing to God, does not distract us from our purpose, does not lead us off the path God has laid before us, and does not compromise the centrality of God's Kingdom and His righteousness in our lives, then it is not an unfruitful work of darkness. Just seek God in everything, making Him the central part of all you do, and He will lead you in how to spend your time, your tallents, your gifts and abilities, and your finances; and everything you do will be done in the light of the Holy Spirit as you make yourself available to be filled by Him wherever you may be.


Let's wrap up today by reading verses eighteen through twenty-one again, pondering how we can change the way we go about our days so that we are continually being filled with the Holy Spirit.

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

We don't avoid dissipation by simply not dissipating. We need to do something else instead. By blotting out one thing, we place ourselves in a vaccum, and something else will take its place. If we do not make the correct choice, that something could be as bad or worse than that thing whose place it's taking.

We've talked about dissipation, some synonyms of which are distractions, diversion, indulgence, self-gratification, squandering, scattering, and waste.

And we know what is on the other end of the block. Some antonyms, or opposites of dissipation are growth, preservation, abstinence, chastity, clean-living, centralization, and concentration.

These opposites of dissipation sound an aweful lot like the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Abstinence sounds like self-control.
Chastity sounds like purity.
Clean-living sounds like righteousness.
Centralization sound like seeking first the Kingdom.
Concentration sounds like keeping our eyes upon Jesus.

And how are we filled with the Spirit of God?

By speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another in the fear of God.

First this passage mentions speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Do we speak the Word of God to one another? Do our words build up our brothers and sisters? When we see a fellow believer struggling or fallen, do we lash out in judgment? Or do we acknowledge their sin as their enemy and restore them to fellowship with God?

Saying to someone, "You are weak and wicked because you dyed your hair blue" is the same un-Biblical, Godless talk as saying "You are okay living in your sin, and it's not really sin anyway." Neither one of these is the Word of God. The first is a judgmental attack, while the second is a feel-good but damning lie from the pit of hell.

The first one should be replaced by spending more time humbly seeking after God so that you begin to see people like He sees them, looking not on the outside at superficial things that don't really matter, but instead looking into the heart.

The second one should be replaced by lovingly and privately telling the one bound by sin what the word of God says, and then reminding them that Jesus came to set free those who are bound by sin -- He loves them and has a wonderful purpose and a plan for them; let them know that you will stand with them as they turn that thing over to Jesus and as they agree to stop sleeping with that enemy and start fighting against it instead.

I've heard Christians complain about other believers because they talk about Jesus too much. It's fascinating to hear them talk, because when they're not fussing about the number of times those holy-roller fanatics talk about Jesus, they are talking about themselves. And that's how it goes. Either God is at the center of our lives, or we are. And as we speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and as we sing and make melody to the Lord in our hearts, we'll find ourselves talking about Jesus and the wonders of God a little more, too.


Instead of talking to ourselves about negative things, or fleshly, Godless things, or prideful things, or fearful things, we should give inner evidence to the centrality of God in our lives in that inner place that only we and God can see -- "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Develop a thankful heart. Stop yourself from grumbling, complaining, boasting, or speaking fear or defeat or confidence in the flesh; and stop those thoughts before that junk comes out of your mouth. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ; and instead, give thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; thank Him for His goodness and for the incredible price He paid for you at Calvary. And that which only you and God can see will begin to shine out of you, and others will begin to see the glory of God in your life as you are filled with His Holy Spirit.


The last verse of our passage says, "submitting to one another in the fear of God." And while this is the end of our Scripture reading today, it is only the beginning of the path we must walk to live a life filled to overflowing with the glory of God. An attitude of humility is a prerequisite to the instructions that follow, and I encourage you to set aside time this week to read Ephesians chapters five and six. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to study it, read it over and over, and even memorize it. Get out some paper and a pen and write down all the points. Then compare each point to your own life, your own attitudes, your own relationships, the ways you interact with others, and the ways you interact with yourself and God, and write down the next thing you need to do to walk on the path of being filled with the Holy Spirit of God.


And as the Spirit says in verse fourteen of Ephesians chapter five,

Awake, you who sleep,
arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.


Let's close today's service with a time of prayer, worship, and ministry.


Have you been asleep? Then God is calling you today to wake up, to arise from your slumber, to arise from your place of death to the spirit, to arise from your place of comfort, your place of familiarity, your place of complacency, your place of dissipation. And as you arise, Jesus will give you light and life.

If God is tugging at your heart today, get out of your seat right now and make your way to the front, and just spend some time in His presence.

This altar is open, and you're all invited to come and pray, worship, and seek after God; His Spirit is here with us right now, and He is present to heal, to deliver, to transform, and to renew.

If you would like prayer or ministry, instant message Mariposa or me.

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior, then you are on the outside of the Kingdom, and it's time for you to come home. The Father isn't angry with you; rather, His arms are open wide, and guess what -- He's running to meet you! It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done; He loves you just as you are, so much that He willingly laid down His life so that your sins could be forgiven and so you could be set free from those sins, so you could have that weight of guilt completely removed, and so you could walk in newness of life, full of peace and joy.

And if God is calling to you today, answer that call. Pray with me now. Say this: Say, "Jesus, I accept your invitation. I ask you to forgive me for all my sins, and I accept your forgiveness. Be the center of my life, and make me brand new. Turn my life around, and put me on the path you have for me. I accept you as my Lord and Savior, and I will follow you all the days of my life. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, and lead me in your ways. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

Whenever you need to leave, you're dismissed. If you can stay, make your way to the Fellowship Room to your left after your time at the altar, and we'll have a time of fellowship.

Come, and let's surrender to God, giving up our lives of dissipation, and seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit instead.