Reckless abandonment?

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Ephesians 4:17–19 (NASB 95)

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

Examine / Explain

Paul testifies with the Lord that Gentile believers shouldn’t be willfully blind to their actions as they are under Christ. Immoral in their understanding of God and continually separated from Him. Their hearts are blinded to the truth, and they choose to stay in the darkness so that they continue to act with lewdness in public, immoral, and look for every self-advantage. They decide not to put on the new life in Christ but instead call themselves Christian and live the same old life.

What’s the application?

Where do I willfully choose to stay blinded in the darkness of my life? What areas of my life am I still not fully surrendering to Christ? And why? Because I want to be in control. I want to feel like I can be in control. I will ignore my actions that are counter to God and sinful because I would rather not deal with them. It’s easier for me to forgive my sins and keep doing life as I’ve always done. But the issue is that I have to live a life against the standards of Christ. Not what I choose is good or bad. Where is my heart callous to the world I live in? Where does the circumcision of the heart need to take place? My flesh wants to be the god of my life, while God wants control over it, too. The tension that is flesh and spirit. The place we live in is where the battle for control of our actions is violent and ugly. Where we are called to live in reckless abandonment of Christ and lay down our very lives for Him, and as broken people living in a broken world, we make broken choices all the time.  How do we live in more surrender than self-rule? The sanctification process is a lifelong process, and I will make broken choices along the way that lead me away from God. It’s more about what is done after the choice is made that matters. Where are we turning when we choose to sin? We dance around the truth and lie to ourselves about what we have done, and we could even beat ourselves to a puddle on the ground. But why? Do we truly believe that is what God wants from us? To live a little puddles of a human in a constant “woe is me” state. Or can we walk confidently in Christ, striving not to sin and knowing that we will probably sin again in our imperfections? But in the end, are we putting in new boundaries? Are we truly living in an intimate, supportive community that will help me heal through confession? Will I surrender to Christ and reach out to that community before I choose to sin again so I have a better chance of not sinning again? Accountability. Self-awareness to know why I want to sin. A safe space to process all of it without fear of judgment and to know I will be loved by more than Jesus. I can know that I am so loved that Jesus died for me through a gruesome death on the cross, but to hear and see it lived out through another man right before my eyes gives us the tangible. To see Christ’s love through relationships is amazing.

What’s my response?

Dad, my spirit wants to choose You over this world, but my flesh wants the world over You. This is the tension we all live in. The battle within a man and in his mind is played out through his actions. What we choose to do with our thoughts is the fruit of Your Spirit working in and through us. Will You forgive us each and every time we sin? Absolutely! But why would we not search for healing so we sin less in this world? I want to sin less for You. I want to live a life of reckless abandonment of this world, but I also know I’m human. Not to excuse myself when I fail but to remind myself that only You are perfect. Only You can forgive. Only You are my salvation, and I must, with total absolution, rely on You. My failures remind me that I need to run to my savior. And if I want to live differently and in my new self, I must run to Him daily. Help me do that. Help me to see You as You are daily. Help be to seek first the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of Jared. Help me surrender every aspect and part of my life. Amen.






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