Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Putting On New Clothes

We're in our final week of Ephesians and I've got to tell you, it's still one of my favorite books!

Grab your Bible and read Ephesians 4:17-24.

When I read through these passages the first part (17-19)not only has me nodding in agreement with the pictures it stirs up, but grieves my heart for those who do not know the love of Christ. Here are some highlights of those verses.

No longer live as the Gentiles do:

Don't live like them in the futility of their thinking.
They are darkened in their understanding
Separated from the life of God because of their ignorance
They are ignorant because of their hardened hearts
They have lost all sensitivity
They've given themselves over to sensuality and indulge in every kind of impurity
And they continue to lust for more

If that doesn't describe our world without Christ to a T, then nothing does. I'm sure if someone who didn't know Christ read this, they would be highly offended. Not everyone outside of Christ is all of these. However, not everyone in Christ is without all of these either. That's why Paul says that we are no longer to live this way.

I've thought useless thoughts. Wasted away time on things that didn't matter. I've been darkened in my understanding and felt separated from God because I had hardened my heart to something. I've lost sensitivity and just let the world come on into my heart and mind. I've given myself over to impurity and it only cause a lust for more.

What about you? Any of these a ringin' a bell?

So what do we do? Have no fear...PAUL is here! (corny, but that was fun to hear it in my mind)

Paul says that we came to know Christ in truth, implying that what the world offers is lies and falsehood. We came to him in truth when we heard of him and "...were taught, with regard to our former way of life, to put off your old self...and to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Okay, Paul, easier said than done. Now what?

I think we have covered this before in Stiletto Army, but I always can use a good dose of remindin'!

If there is any way we are to keep from slipping back into any of those descriptions, we must be humbled to the work of the Holy Spirit and we must take action to set ourselves up for victory!

Here is it...uh-gain....
Do not conform any longer to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

And Who is the only one who can transform us? You got it, the Spirit of Christ.

When I lived in a nasty habitual sin, I had to go to Christ daily, if not at some point, hourly to realign with His Spirit. I knew verses. I had people around me who knew my weakness. I was on my knees A LOT. Over time, through humility and discipline, that old self was killed! Oh, she tries to rear her ugly head at times, but I have a much stronger sword to knock her back down with. I no longer live like that. In that area, I have "put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

I have other areas that we are working on, but, just like my jeans, sometimes to "put on" Christ, it takes me one leg at a time.

What are the areas in your life that you can identify that need the transforming power of Christ to come in and make it new?

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