Verse 18 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.
We have been talking about what it means to live out what we learn through those called by God to teach us to live like Him. Today we start a few days of looking at some of those specifics ways of living as His people.
Paul starts out pretty strong, with his insisting on this point in the Lord, that there should be a noticeable difference between the lives of Christians and the world around them. Too often in our time there is a push to be involved in worldly things to be draw the world to us. We become so consumed with drawing people in that we forget that God has His own way of drawing them and one way He does, is by drawing us to live like He calls us to live.
Paul points out that God is not just suggesting that we live like Him but commands us to. He doesn’t want us to have the thinking of the world. The world doesn’t think like He does so why would we think He is ok with us thinking like them? We have mentioned earlier in this series that loving other Christians is a way of living in the Light and Paul shows how if we are following the the world in its understanding, it will lead us to darkness, a life separate from God. This leads to hardened hearts.
Hearts are hardened in two ways, by God and by our disobedience. The more we disobey God the further we walk away from God. And the further we walk away from the God the weaker the Church gets. Remember, the health of a church is only as good as the spiritual health of those in the congregation. And did you catch that comment in the middle of our key verse? “…separated from the life of God because of the ignorance…” Ignorance! Something that is avoidable! Why would we not want to fight against something that takes us further from the God we claim to love?
Verse 19 says we have lost all sensitivity and that leads us to wander into the lifestyles of the world forsaking our walk with God. We can’t walk with Him and with the world. God doesn’t call us to coexist. He calls us out from that kind of thinking. He calls us to be pure and we can’t be pure if we are running closer to the world than we are with Him. The further we get from Him the harder it is to hear His voice. Are you desiring to listen to Him or the world? Are you closest to the one you want to hear?
Making It Personal
How committed are you to walking close to God? Are you willing to lose some friends of the world for being different? How important to you is your relationship with God?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to walk with God? Do you have friends who make fun of you because you say you love Jesus? How much do you love Jesus?
Father, You have called us to be different from the world. Give us wisdom to walk with You in all things and to live purely so that it is known to all that we belong to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.