Read His Words Before Ours!
A dear friend gave my daughter a delightful pair of purple sunglasses a few weeks ago. She is absolutely smitten with them. Plastic jewels and gems adorn the frames, and they are larger than her last pair, so they fit her better. The tint of the lenses is rather dark, but she feels like such a big girl when she’s wearing them, she’ll insist she can see just fine, thank you very much.
It’s no rare occasion to find her twirling in the sunlight streaming through my front window, wearing those purple, sparkly sunglasses. There’s a shift in her gait when she puts them on; it’s obvious she just feels different.
Take a breath, Christian. We’re going deeper, fast.
Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians about light versus darkness is an object lesson about delivering truth in love, to say the least. (Ephesians 5:6-14) He didn’t mince words about the dangers to followers of Christ who live in the world. If anything, he underscored the arduous reality of a life surrendered to Christ. He spoke the unpopular truth that those who are disobedient to God will face His wrath. He called out the Ephesians and warned them against even partnering with those who do not obey God. Furthermore, Paul exhorted the church in Ephesus to not only remove themselves from any association with those who do not obey God, but to actually expose their deeds of darkness.
Are you squirming? I am. Talk about high challenge. Not only were the believers at Ephesus not to associate with those who do not follow God, but they were to actually expose the dark deeds of those who were enemies of the Lord.
“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners.” (Ephesians 5:6-7)
Paul’s words were concise and deliberate. They slice through potential internal or external argument, explanation, and even current cultural caution with razor-sharp, Spirit-led acumen. His challenge left no question about the gravity of their, and our, calling.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth – testing what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11)
His words were filled with truth, but do you recognize what they aren’t filled with? Accusation, or condemnation. No, these words were delivered in love. Make no mistake; there is a high challenge here, but there is equipping and invitation here, too. Paul extended a hand to the believers at Ephesus when he called them out of popular culture and up into Kingdom culture as he reminded them Whose they were.
He’s inviting us, too.
Christian, does any part of Paul’s challenge indicate we have a call on our lives to blend in with the rest of the world, or to value what is valued by those who do not follow our Father? Further, what do you think might be one of the most effective ways the enemy intends to quiet the hands and feet and voice of Jesus on earth today?
Might it be to keep them so occupied with the day to day things,
and the big, overwhelming cultural things,
and the general state of the world things,
and their very feelings, that they forget they are merely temporary citizens here?
It’s time for each of us to be honest with the God we serve.
Is it possible we have been looking at the world, and our lives, through a darkened worldly perspective? We have been going through the motions of a Christian walk, but is it merely an accompaniment to our worldly life?
Beloved, what drives you?
Are you ruled by your feelings, or by your Father?
Are you more vested in the things the world holds dear, or the things of your Father’s Kingdom?
Hard questions. Typing them wrecks me, too. But we have to ask them. Daily. And more importantly, we have to answer them.
Because this is what Paul’s words mean.
We are called to be children of light. Just like my daughter needed to take off her sunglasses to see clearly, we are called to remove every darkened lens which affects our judgement. To test all beliefs with the discernment He gives. To speak the truth, and illuminate the dark deeds of the enemy, and to point always to our Father. We are called to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation. A peculiar, set-apart people. (1 Peter 2:9) This world is not our home. We reside here, for a time, as God has ordained, but this life is but a breath.
Paul’s words are true, and they are for us today.
There is a God in heaven, and in us, if we have given our lives to Him. He will fulfill all He has said He will fulfill, and He has called us to carry His Kingdom throughout all the earth.
Christian, take off your shades and walk in the light!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!