Week 28: Day 4

Ephesians 5:18-19
18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.
The great American civil rights leader Martin Luther King was a person with tremendous courage. He endured vilification, beatings, imprisonments, death threats, his house was firebombed, and as we all know, he was eventually assassinated.So what kept him going? It was his strong sense of God’s call upon his life. King was just 26 years old when he was appointed leader of the civil rights campaign in Montgomery, Alabama. Apart from terrifying threats from the Ku Klux Klan, King was harassed by the police. Arrested for driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit, he was given his first stint in jail. The night after his release, he was at home when the phone rang.  “Nigger”, said a menacing voice on the other end,  “we are tired of you and your mess now. And if you aren’t out of this town in three days, we’re going to blow your brains out and blow up your house.”

King was unnerved and very afraid – for himself, for his wife and for his little children. Shortly after the phone call, he sat at his kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. “And I sat at that table” he said, “thinking about that little girl and thinking about the fact that she could be taken away from me at any minute. And I started thinking about a dedicated, devoted and loyal wife, who was over there asleep…And I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I was weak…

And I discovered then that religion had to become real to me, and I had to know God for myself. And I bowed down over that cup of coffee. I will never forget it…I said, ‘Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right. I think I’m right. I think the cause we represent is right. But Lord, I must confess that I’m weak now. I’m faltering. I’m losing my courage…And it seemed to me at that moment that I could hear an inner voice saying to me, ‘Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the world.’…I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone.. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”

Three nights later, the menacing threat made on the phone call came true: a bomb exploded on the front veranda of the King home. Thankfully, no one was hurt. King was able to get through it: “My religious experience a few nights before had given me strength to face it.” Time and time again throughout his ministry, Martin Luther King returned to that experience to strengthen him as he faced terrible difficulties.

Sometimes, when problems seem to rise, we are discouraged to continue our journey and to just sit in the corner, and to live a little bit longer. We hear people surrounding us, telling us to just quit. We saw it in Martin Luther King. A man of courage became discouraged when people threatened to bomb him and his family. Most often, human beings would be scared if that would happen. We think,”It’s kinda normal to get scared and just hide.”

Being just brave is not enough for us to face hardships, struggles or challenges in life. Because even the bravest man in the world can be afraid in the face of death. Or sometimes we feel that it’s east and that we can do whatever we want because we live in this fast emerging world. Like what is said in verse 18, “it will ruin your life.” Our lives will be ruined if we depend ourselves on our strength or on the gadgets or the things we have in this world. That’s why the next line is,”instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Everyone knows in Ephesians 5:18, where we are told to “be filled with the Spirit” . . . but have you ever noticed that verse 18 ends with a comma, not a period? The next verse describes the very first result of being under the Spirit’s control . . . we sing! We make melody with our hearts. We communicate His presence within us by presenting our own, individual concert of sacred music to Him.

I believe that during that moment when Martin Luther King knelt and asked God for help and guidance, there was worship. Because when we worship, there’s some-sort of peace in you that you cannot understand. Even when you’re surrounded by trouble, there’s peace inside you when you worship.

Martin Luther had two basic objectives when he fired the reformation cannon into the sixteenth- century wall of spiritual ignorance. First, he wanted to give people a Bible they could read on their own, and second, to give them a hymnal so they could sing on their own.

Have you ever noticed? That when something great or happy or sad or devastating happens to a person, they can remember a song that illustrates what they are facing. Even here in this corrupted world. Worshiping God is the key in everything.



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