“We are redeemed through Christ for Christ”
It is the things that we are not aware of that are the silent enslavers of our lives. We all have quirks, habits, and thinking patterns that we do unconsciously on a daily basis that we are unaware of but are the things that either builds prisons for us or contributes to a life of freedom. Whatever becomes our habit fly under the radar of awareness to the point that when we get triggered by certain events, we without thinking respond in a particular way.
Think about a thing that annoys you. Sometimes we get annoyed by loud food chewing, talking during class, leg shaking, or even certain phrases that our friends say and get angry at them without figuring out how to deal with these issues properly. When we are faced again with the same annoyance we get angry again, and again and again and again and again to the point where we find ourselves automatically getting angry when we are presented with the same type of annoyance.
Consistent action turns into habits and it is our habits that determine mostly our quality of life. As we start a new series in the book of Ephesians we are going to be reminded of core biblical truths of being saved by grace and living for Christ. We have heard these things for the umpteenth time and we can get annoyed or apathetic to it but why do we repeat ourselves? For one, we remind ourselves because we are people of habit that tend to “practice” forgetfulness. As the mind and even the body only keeps what is practiced daily, we must get in the habit of responding to situations with Christlike character that is revealed through the Holy Spirit and word.
The first line that is presented is a truth that we must practice daily because when following Christ gets hard and if you do it right it will, then the heart becomes discouraged. It is in this discouraged state that you are the most vulnerable and thus we must especially in these moments respond by habit with the truth of God so that we may believe. Above all else, I come to realize that the word of God is meant primarily to be believed than understood as I always say that faith will lead to understanding whereas understanding doesn’t necessarily always lead to faith.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
We have been set free by Christ for Christ. There are times when we have a disconnect between the words of the Bible and our lives because we fail to realize this crucial point of the Gospel… It’s not about us. Yes we benefit tremendously through God’s excessive love that saves us from ourselves but that the Gospel is not so that we are free to do whatever we want and give God some of our time now that we are free people! The Gospel doesn’t make God an accessory of your life but that He is very much the reason for you life. The core reason we live powerless Christian lives is that God is not at the center and the word has become a piece of text that we study not the channel of His presence to be Lord over our lives.
Let us look at an ancient Israelite practice of servants from the book of Exodus…
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”
In ancient Israel, slaves were people that were more like servants in that they were fellow Israelite brothers that have put themselves in such a terrible situation that they are pretty much on the streets with nothing. When faced with such a terrible situation, the person can sell themselves into being a servant to another household and thus they will have food and shelter for the price of serving for about seven years. Yet if the servant loved the master and the master treated him well, the person can go under an awl ceremony which is an ear piercing ceremony that has very permanent results!
The servant declares that to live with the master is the best life he can ever have and is actually taken care of well so therefore as an act of eternal loyalty and commitment, the master would solidify the commitment by piercing the ear of the servant through with a nail to bind their lives forever.
The more I walk with God, the more I realize that my devotion to Him will always pale in comparison to His devotion to me. God can never be out-loved, out-devoted, and out-matched when in regards to us! We think we are devoted to God… guess again!
I think God is waiting upon several of us today to meet him at the doorpost to make that last step of genuine commitment to be pierced by His love and let the blood of Christ tell you who you truly are and who you truly live for. For those who live for Christ cannot live for themselves but in the process find that their lives were for the better when marked by love. Today let the words of the passage mark you again as it did in days past as a reminder of the blessed life that is only found when bound to Him.
TIPS AND TRICKS
JOURNAL AND REFLECT ON YOUR LIFE DAILY!
If it is is our daily habits that determine our lives than why are we not reflecting on our lives daily? I wonder what habits, thoughts, and actions we do daily that are going unnoticed in our lives that are hindering our relationships with God and people. Spend every night reflecting on how you felt, what you thought, and what you did so that you can present these things before God in prayer to ask for His thoughts on those things, which leads me to the next point
INVITE THE TRUTH DAILY, INVITE HIM DAILY
You are always inviting some type of influence daily! Don’t be fooled that you are different than the rest because ALL fall to some type of influence! To stay committed to God, one must invite God daily. I am not saying that you have to make this elaborate ritual to invite Him but simply through your words and or actions, ask God what He think about a certain situation you are going through. Ask him what he would want you to do today. It is as simple as, “Holy Spirit, what do you want to highlight today for me and how can I live for you today?” Why does it sound like I am simply asking someone a simple question? Because God is a being not a theory! We at times make God a theory to be studied and not a being to relate to.
SIT WITH THE WORD
A lot of times our devotion time can be simply a mad race to get a revelation and check off our time with God. Imagine your friend was sitting with you all anxious looking for something but you can’t quite understand why. When you begin to talk and get to the good part of your story, your friend gets up and walks away saying that they will see you tomorrow! I think a lot of times we bite to early and are satisfied with the first revelations that we are aware of not realizing that God is getting to the truly good part if we were to just be patient and let Him talk! When it comes to the word, be intentional of carving out good amount of time to be silent and still in the word and to not be satisfied with the first revelation but keep sitting in the same passage till more truths come out. More often times than not, there will be more truths to be revealed in His presence.