Part 5, wowwwww we’ve come a long way!!! I’m so thankful we’ve been steady. I know it’s been a good heart check for me but I am very glad for it because as I mentioned in Part 1, these are important lessons to help us walk intentionally in this new season or level.
As we’ve been doing the past days, we’ll dive right in. Today we’re studying from Ephesians 5:6-14.
The first verse mentions empty words. What do we think those are? I encourage us to take a minute to ponder on this before continuing. I say to ponder because the consequences for them are so grave, verse 6 tells us that it attracts the wrath of God.
Empty words could include careless comments we make about ourselves or others. My parents are big on this one and i’m learning from it. How do we refer to our situation? Do we speak hope or life over ourselves, others and things? Or do we indirectly attract suffering and God’s wrath by the things we say or imply.
Another way we can utter empty words is by blasphemy. How highly do we regard God and all things Him? We discussed this in Part 1. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit should not be grieved with the things we say and the actions we take.
Verse 8 urges us further to live as children of light. “For you were once darkness. . . ” The word once gives the context for our title today. A quick google search gives this as one of the definition for the word: at some time in the past; formerly.
So, in Ephesians, God tells us: you were [at some point in the past, formerly] in darkness, but now you are light, in Him. God says it, so it’s true, right? If we believe and accept Jesus as the Son of God and our Saviour, this truth becomes alive in us, right?
I’ll answer a yes for us. 🙂
So, if God says, you were formerly in darkness and this truth is alive in you as a child of God, why then does it sometimes feel like you are presently in darkness. Why does it feel difficult to pick up from being rescued from the darkness?Why does living FULLY as light, in God seem like a distant future?
Here’s the thing, the devil HATES you. Really truly, he does. I think we don’t always think of it that way, we are generally aware that he is evil and would like to lead us astray, but wrap your mind about this: the devil very truly HATES you to his core. he absolutely intends to make you live a life that is miserable and less than the calling you have received from God. The calling from God that invites and urges us to BE LIGHT. 1 Peter 2:9 says God called us out of darkness into His wonderful light and now we can sing him praises all day long.
Because the devil hates you so much, he will do absolutely every and any thing in his power to remind you of what it felt like to be in darkness. And so you find yourself in your daily life, enjoying what it means to live as a light and almost abruptly, there it is, the feeling of darkness, feeling overpowered.
But that’s just it, if you go back and reread the last few paragraphs, you will notice my use of the words “feel”, “felt.” That’s all it is, a feeling. A quick google search gives this definition for feeling: a belief, especially a vague or irrational one. (Boy i’m on roll today with these google searches, huh, LOOL).
This definition is the reason why Jesus tells us in John 4:23-24 that we worship God in Spirit and in Truth. There is a reason why Jesus does not say, in heart and mind or in feelings, etc. Because these things are fickle, not trustworthy. What we know though is that as God is a Spirit and we being created in his likeness, we ourselves are Spirit beings. So more than what we feel, we must KNOW.
We must know that we were formerly in darkness, but not anymore! We must know that God is all powerful and what He says stands. We must know that whom the Son sets free is FREE indeed! And there is NO condemnation for you in that – only freedom. We must know that despite what you feel, truth stands firm. Truth that you have been called out of darkness and into light, to not only live IN light as Children of Light, but to BE light, as image bearers of God!
I said this in part 1, but I’ll remind you again, it’s not going to be easy. You will have to fight to win this battle. Because trust me, with the hatred the devil has for us children of God, he means WAR. And he will move whatever he can to make you believe lies that cause you to keep falling and feeling far from God.
The truth is you have been set free, so don’t fear that you have ruined yourself or your life forever. You have authority to pick back up from where you left off. You are forgiven, so lift up your hands in worship. Speak in the Holy Spirit. Share the Gospel. But first, REPENT – listen to the Holy Spirit for wisdom on how to CHANGE.
Verse 10 of Ephesians 5 says “find out what pleases the Lord.” Find out, that’s going to require some “seeking” from us – committed action on our part. But, take heart, beloved. The Lord wants to be found by you. He wants to reveal himself. Jeremiah 29:13. So now, pick back up from you left off and keep on running the race that has been set before you. Your victory is already set.
“This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”” Ephesians 5:14 NIV.
That’s it for this study, friends!
Stay blessed and a blessing,