Don’t Give Yourself Up
Read Ephesians 4:17-19
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
What dark and empty ways of thinking are you seeing in the world today? How does it contrast with the Word of God?
The philosophies of the world often look appealing. The world says you only live once, so you might as well live it up and enjoy it. The world says if it isn’t hurting anybody, what’s the big deal? Plus, you deserve to be happy and be your true self. It sounds liberating when the culture says nobody else should be able to tell you how to live.
And our selfish selves love to be told to “love yourself” and “follow your heart.” Listen, all of that sounds good but those philosophies are just tickling your ears.
Here, the apostle Paul was telling the Ephesians that they should no longer walk as the Gentiles do. He said that their way of thinking is darkened, ignorant, and futile. They are separated from God and they are hard-hearted towards Him. Just like calluses on your feet prevent you from being sensitive to sharp rocks, calluses on your heart prevent you from being sensitive to the pokes and prods of the Holy Spirit convicting you of your sin.
It’s very obvious that the same applies to our culture today. We live in an age of information. Everyone claims to know it all and everyone thinks their way is best. Many believe that they are more “enlightened” than people who believe the Bible. But they couldn’t be more in the dark about the truth! They believe they are more intelligent than everyone else because they question everything and reject authority in almost all of its forms - most especially, the authority of God and His Word.
Following that way of life is futile. There is no long-term pay-off. Just short-term gain with the consequences of a whole lot of pain. That is why Paul says they have “given themselves up.” The formula is pretty simple. If you do not know Christ, your thinking is selfish, deceived, and corrupt which leads to greedy, immoral, and ungodly behavior. And that kind of behavior leads to a life separate from God. It is emptiness.
Friend, don’t give yourself up. If you are in Christ, do not look to the philosophies of our time. Read the timeless Word of God and seek to obey it. Submit to the authority of Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to truth. You will find that you don’t just live, die, and that’s it. You live forever. How, where, and with whom do you want to spend your eternity?
I don’t want to give myself up to the empty darkness and forever like without God. I want to persevere in Christ. I want to spend eternity walking in His truth, in His freedom, in His security, in His joy, in His love, and in His presence. How about you?
Lord, soften my heart toward You. Renew my thinking and illuminate my mind with Your truth. I submit to You and Your Word. Help me to walk in obedience to You. Amen.