Good morning my friends. It is Wednesday already. I hope you are looking forward to today with all of its joys and challenges. I hope you see each day as another day to learn something new. We are continuing with Ephesians 5.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. vs. 8-10
I am so pleased there was a change that took place when we accepted Jesus as Saviour. At one time we were part of the darkness with all of our negative thoughts and emotions. Our actions reflected the darkness that possessed our hearts and minds. How then can we forget that when the Light was introduced to us everything changed? It put the darkness to flight so that it no longer possessed us and it was the Light then that filled us with everything positive. Our hearts and minds were liberated so that we were able to see with God's perspective. Our actions changed as well reflecting the changes in our hearts and minds. We began to live according to this Light and the fruit it produced. Our desire was to please the Lord. I fear though that over time we forget.
I think we sometimes forget that a change has taken place and that we no longer have anything to do with the fruitless deeds of the darkness that had once possessed us. We get busy with life and we find it hard to find the time to take our delight in the light. Some of the bad habits from the darkness begin to creep back in. Not being renewed in the Light allows for some of our former thinking and perspective to start effecting us. We begin to forget there was a change that had taken place so that every day more of the darkness begins to creep back in. Those fruitless deeds start looking more familiar to us than the fruit of the Light. Strange to think that we still believe we are in the Light when we are completely possessed by the darkness once more. We need rescuing all over again because of our own neglect of the Light.
Paul gives us some solutions to the trouble with our forgetfulness. First,
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. v. 11
Confessed any of the darkness that has been creeping in. If you have neglected the Light and you have started acting in the darkness the best thing to do is tell someone, confess it, expose it for what it is. Do not use pride and shame as an excuse to hide it. By talking about it you have exposed it to the light. Second,
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. v 17
Know the will of God for your life, your thoughts and your actions. This is one of the easiest things but it does require time. We find the heart and will of God in his Word. You need to spend more time in it, studying, understanding and desiring to live it for his glory. Knowing the Word is half the battle. Third,
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. v. 18
Allow yourself to be completely possessed by the Light through the Spirit of God in you. Work out your salvation every day by willfully submitting yourself to the Spirit's guidance and convictions. The more you desire for that to be happening in you the more you will be possessed. The more you are possessed the less grip the darkness has on you. This requires thought and effort to willfully die to yourself every day, maybe several times in a day. Fourth,
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. v. 9
You require the fellowship of other believers. You need that mutual encouragement. You cannot make it without people speaking the Word of God into your life, without the deep richness that comes from being in the lives of other believers. If you try to go it alone you will fail. If you do not value your time with other believers you are already giving opportunity for the darkness to creep back in. God designed us to be dependent on each other, whether we like it or not. The fifth and last,
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. vs. 19-20
We were created to worship. It is natural to us. If we do not worship the Light then we will worship something else. We are always looking for something that possesses greater authority than we have in order to worship. By worshiping our Lord every day with thanksgiving the darkness cannot possess us again. In fact the darkness cannot even approach us. If you feel any tinges of your former self get up onto your feet, lift up those beautiful hands and worship Jesus.
We cannot afford to forget the changes that have taken place. We cannot afford to allow the Light to be covered again. We need to take the time to cultivate this relationship, to remember and to be reminded that a change has taken place. As we move in to our day today let us take note of these things and do them just to see the difference they make.