So 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. They 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. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 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. Ephesians 4:17-24
In this passage, Paul makes a bold statement. He says the Gentiles were “separated from the life of God.”
Take a moment and re-read the passage. What does Paul give as the reason for this separation?
It was due to their futile thinking, darkened understanding and the hardening of their hearts. The Gentiles missed out on the life God had to offer because their hearts and minds were not right.
However, we are called to live differently. We must learn to walk by faith. Paul urges us to put off our old self and be made new in the attitude of our minds.
We are invited to believe, trust and depend on God. This isn’t something to take lightly.
Our very hearts are at stake. Notice the end of the passage. Hard hearts create callousness, which eventually leads to indifference in the way we live. This is a dangerous cycle, especially when you consider the weight of the decisions you often face.
The choices you make not only impact you but your family, friends, and others within your sphere of influence.
Your decisions speak volumes about your belief in God. So, instead of leaning on your own understanding, walk with God. He offers you forgiveness, life and a footing for your steps. Trust Him and forsake the futility of your own thinking.
- How would you describe the condition of your heart? What causes a heart to become hardened?
- What does it look like to be made new in the attitude of your mind?
Lord, there are so many times when doing things Your way doesn’t make sense. I confess the areas where I have tried to get You to operate according to my thinking. Help me to be aware of those tendencies and reveal to me Your ways so I can trust in You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.