Monday, February 4, 2008

How are you walking?

Ephesians 4:17-18
Living as Children of Light
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

So Paul speaking to Christians tells them that they must no longer live as the Gentiles do. The term "gentile" was used in Judaism to describe what Christians would call a "pagan". He was saying don't walk like those who don't know Christ. We who are in Christ are faced with the same temptation to live in the flesh and revert back to old tendencies if we are not on guard. The enemy wants us to become complacent, distracted, brainless people. For example look at some of the things that we use as means of entertainment to just "check out". Things that dumb us down as a culture. Just turn on your TV and you won't have to look far. I am NOT saying all TV is bad or dumb. But seriously take a look at the things that we spend our time on that are not profitable. Case in point, I remember the first time I saw "To Catch A Predator". I was horrified and got on my face and cried out to God. I was so disturbed over it. Well, as time went on and the shows kept rolling I became a little less sensitive in an effort to not have an emotional outburst. I in essence hardened myself to it as a protective mechanism. Yes, it is horrible...but it has become a regular part of television (I am so glad they are catching these people). The Lord spoke in my spirit this verse last night as Rod had it on the TV:

Romans 16:19
Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

I told Rod that I would appreciate it if he would change the channel. I didn't need to watch it and listen to the perversions to know that this kind of thing exists. I need to be focused way more on what is good, and not fill my mind listening to the lewd acts on television. You get my point I am sure. I don't need to be well schooled in evil to know that it exists...believe me anyone living any amount of time here is aware of the fallen state on this planet.

I say this with great love and affection to anyone reading this that says the things they "let in" don't affect them. This is something that I have heard over and over in the last several years.
The Bible says that what we take in affects us:

34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Luke 11:34

34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.

So how do the Gentiles live? Paul says in the futility of their thinking. Other translations say in the futility of their minds.

The word for futility is so interesting to me in the Greek.
It is the word mataiotes {mat-ah-yot'-ace}
Meaning: 1) what is devoid of truth and appropriateness 2) perverseness, depravity 3) frailty, want of vigour.
Here is a broader definition:
"Vanity, futility, meaninglessness, worthlessness, (Ephesians 4:17, not the utter absence of purpose, but the absence of true purpose and meaning)."

So, what I gather is that we can be the "salt that loses its saltiness" (which is of no use) if we are not guarding the good deposit. I have a person that is close to me that I have seen over time gradually decline. At one point this person was on fire for the Lord but let the cares and burdens of this world choke out the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Let that serve as a warning to you and to me. So Paul is admonishing these Christians that they are not to walk in that way. I know some of you reading this (all five people) may be thinking Jenny, you don't know what I have done. You don't know how bad I want to be back right with the Lord but it will just never be what it once was. I have been away to long. That is a lie...from the father of lies. You get on your face and cry out to God to restore the joy of His salvation. He will. Surround yourself with the word through sermons and praise music. Get in a bible study if you can find one. Limit the intake of the flesh. I once heard the phrase that we need to feed the spirit and starve the flesh figuratively speaking. I have been struggling lately myself so I have been intentional about popping in some old sermons and listening to them while I am cleaning or even just listening to the bible on tape. If you and I are going to combat the lies that assail us we are going to have to know the truth and seek to live in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us because we are no match for the enemy on our own.

Look at this one more time:
(Ephesians 4:17, not the utter absence of purpose, but the absence of true purpose and meaning)."
We can live here and still have purpose but have the absence of true purpose and meaning. We can just exist and feel like our purpose is to work, take care of kids, and etc and miss the big purpose that there are people all around us in need of a Saviour. When you and I get bogged down in sin and are constantly indoctrinated by this world order we will just be spinning our wheels so to speak. I had a year in my life where I could not see past my sin and I was MISERABLE. I knew what it was to "taste and see that the Lord is good" and I got myself into a stronghold and pretty much loathed my life. I was just existing in that year. When the Lord opened my eyes that I needed to get on with it I began to see immense needs all around me. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with several people and see God work in ways that I thought He could no longer work (a lie) through my life. I was so grieved at what my trip to the pit cost me and so thankful for His mercy to not just swallow me in the earth over my sin. I don't EVER want to take that trip again and I hate some of the lessons that I have learned because of my own sinful ways. So, if God can give me a fresh start He can give it to anyone. In this time I learned how important it was going to be for me to put off the flesh and put on the Spirit and not walk like I once did when I didn't know Christ.

Oh I could go on but I sense the Lord nudging me to get some stuff done before Morg wakes up. More of my ramblings to come and I appreciate the fact that no one has to read this unless they want to. =) I have got to share some stuff from vs 18 that I learned...but...

One more thing my friend Jessica just sent this to me from her pastors was so timely:

Substantial and Dependable

"When all visible evidences that He is remembering us are withheld, that is best. He wants us to realize that His Word, His promise of remembrance, is more substantial and dependable than any evidence of our senses." C.G. Trumbull

"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." C.H. Spurgeon

"Beware in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ; and expect great things." Andrew Murray


Fran said...

WOW! That was so good Jenny! I have been so convicted lately of what is "coming in!" Sometimes things that seem ok are not ok. I want the discernment and insight to things that are not going to help me out.

Anyway, this was good stuff. I want to walk the walk girlfriend and I know you do too.

Stay in the Word. You bless me always. Hope your day is well.

Super B's Mom said...

WOW. What a great post. I really admire your insight on this subject. You bring up a lot of REALLY good points. We all need to take a step back and see what we need to be "less accepting" of.

God bless you today.

Jessica said...

I teared up when you said to get on your face and cry out to God! We need to be more aware of what we are allowing the world to fill our minds with. Thank you for the wake up call!

darla said...

I love Andrew Murray! love you my you speak a word to my heart!

He Knows My Name said...

jenny, the battle for our minds and hearts is a very real thing. thanks for the good word. i think the tv brings so much into our homes that we are just so used to the thing being on spewing it's junk we don't pay close enough attention. hugs ~janel

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

This was so powerful Jenny!

We have been having this conversation at our home a LOT recently. To the point of discussing cutting out cable all together. Is that REALLY something we want to continue to pay for when we don't watch, or wind up changing the channel because something isn't pure, lovely, honorable.......

Thank you for speaking truth here and challenging us to Walk the Walk!


DK said...

Thank you! Truely that was Holy Spirit inspired. You have blessed me and any others who will read this. God bless you greatly