In the 1980s, the world was rife with talk of subliminal messages. People seemed to find subliminal messages in everything, from pop music, to store jingles, and even 3D posters. The conspiracy back then was that the music played in departmental stores were specially written to make people buy more. Some say that if you played those tracks backwards, you would hear messages like ‘buy more, buy now’. Some even claimed that they heard the message ‘the devil is king’ in some of these subliminal tracks.

Now, after many years of research, we have learnt that the claims were indeed true; except that they did it not with subliminal messages, but by heightening your heart rate with fast tempo music. That they did so that you would be more ready to make impulsive purchases. But beloved, have you ever realized that the use of subliminal messages to reinforce behavior is not a new thing? In fact, Paul tells us that we should use God’s messages subliminally on ourselves.

“Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-20 [MSG]

Let’s face it. We are all going to get ‘high’ on something. Many of us shy away from drugs. But some of us indulge in alcohol and a pack of smokes. Yet even more of us get our kicks from comfort food. Some even get our rush from extreme sports. But whatever your poison is, we all get ‘high’ on something.

And why do we do it? Why do you turn to that rich chocolate cake when you are stressed? Why do you need that single malt when you want to unwind at the end of the day? That’s right. We need relief, we need release. We need to ‘get away from it all’; and the things we turn to all serve to take us away from our realities, albeit momentarily, so that we can take a break from our lives. But how many of us get ‘high’ on drinking ‘the Spirit of God’?

If you’ve ever watched Disney’s first rendition of Snow White, you would no doubt have watched the dwarfs go merrily off to work, and how did they do that? That’s right, with a spring in their step and a song on their lips. Now, I know that is a cartoon but have you ever had that happen to you before? Have you ever been so happy that you just break into song? Or so depressed that you just can’t get that soppy love song out of your head? It happens, doesn’t it? Music and lyrics have a way of getting into our subconscious and their messages become subliminal.

Now, the fact is, your consciousness is constantly open to subliminal suggestions, and the world knows this. That is why companies and society are constantly trying to get your attention through posters, visuals and music, so that they can make inroads into your consciousness and influence your behavior. So you are left with a choice; do you allow yourself to be influenced by those distractions, or do you focus your mind on other, more healthy things? I think the answer is obvious.

But how do we do that? The world is not only persuasive, it is also relentless; and advertising has become such a fine art that subliminal suggestion and demand generation have become surreptitious.

Well, beloved, if you are looking to turn your hearts away from the unhealthy desires and pursuits of the world, if you are looking to immunize yourself from unwanted thoughts and behaviors, you can. Here’s the solution.

“…Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him.” Ephesians 5:18 [MSG]

Seriously, what does that mean? Well, it means to be

“…be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him” Ephesians 5:18 [AMP]

And letting “…the Spirit stimulate your souls” Ephesians 5:18 [PHILLIPS]

Now, why should we be filled with the Holy Spirit? What does the Spirit do?

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:25-26

The Spirit is there to help us remember the things that Christ has taught us; and The Spirit is there to teach us the things that we don’t understand. And one of the things that Jesus told us is this.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” John 14:27-28

Peace. Peace is all we really want, isn’t it? Whether you are rich or poor, male or female, young or old; peace is something we can never get too much of. And peace is exactly what Jesus leaves with us. Peace in knowing that our salvation has been secured by His death. Peace in knowing that we have a place with Him in Heaven. Peace in knowing that Jesus is interceding for us with our Father. Peace in knowing that we therefore have direct access to our Father for all our provision and protection, which is why Paul can say

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

But we don’t always remember that we have this peace now, do we? We forget and we struggle through life, thinking that the burden of our lives falls on our shoulders. No beloved, all that struggle is needless and therefore pointless; because we can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain help in times of our need.

Even though we are imperfect, even though our actions may have been less than stellar; that grace, that unmerited favor of God is there, freely available to us, because we believe and have received the gift of salvation which Jesus died to give us; and knowing that gives us peace.

And wouldn’t you agree that that peace is worth more than any momentary ‘high’ you can get from the things you do to unwind and ‘get away from it all’? Because, even though you are relaxing on the beach, you know at the back of your mind that all that relaxation will end, and you will have to go back and face up to reality. Your problems didn’t go away. They are just on hold.

But with Jesus, things are different. Sure, deliverance is often a process, and you don’t always get what you want immediately. But ask the lady who got healed of her issue of blood, ask the lady caught in adultery who received reprieve from her accusers, ask the lepers, ask Lazarus, or ask even those who have wrote into us and shared with us their stories of our Father’s deliverance; ask them if their problems were put on hold or were they comprehensively resolved by Jesus.

So when we fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit, we get constantly reminded that we are loved, that Jesus has purchased for us our salvation and because of that, we have the right to ask of our Heavenly Father and He will give us all the help we need.

But how do we constantly remind ourselves to do that? Well, beloved, I’m glad you asked.

“Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 [MSG]

You know, the Bible says,

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

You are constantly going to fill your ears, your eyes and your consciousness with something. You listen to the radio or your favorite tracks in the car. Even while you are running, against the advice of the Traffic Police, you have your music plugged into your ears. So why not fill your ears, your eyes and your consciousness with the word of God?

Think about it, if hearing about the latest smart phone or watching fast food ads are going to make you get out there and buy them; what is listening to songs of praise and audio versions of the word of God going to do to you? Wouldn’t you agree that before long, you are going to

“Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 [MSG]

And what is going to happen to you when you do?

“Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of God! Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20 [PHILLIPS]

Now, hang on, there’s a leap of understanding here. Where’s the provision that generates the joy which we are to be expressing? Well, beloved, what do you think? When you constantly have a song of praise in your heart, won’t your mind start asking your heart why is it singing? And wouldn’t the Spirit which is in you, which is the One giving you the joy to sing in the first place, be reminding you of all the good things which God has done for you, and wouldn’t that give you reason to have confidence that good things will continue to happen for you in the future? Yes, beloved, that is exactly how you

“…be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him” Ephesians 5:18 [AMP]

Beloved, whether we like it or not, we are going to fill our minds with something or other. So instead of filling them with the doubts and demands of the world, why not fill them with the knowledge of the love of our Father through songs of praise and the truth of His word? Yes, your problems are real and they are most probably not going to disappear in the blink of an eye. But when you know that you are loved, you know that you are not alone, because the Spirit will remind you just how loved you are by the Father. So fill yourself with the Spirit and you will always remember that

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

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