It was one of those days when I woke up late and had to rush to get ready. I couldn’t find my keys. While driving in the rain, a car almost ran me off the road. Finally, I arrived at work, sat down at my desk, and opened my Bible. As I peered at the page, all I could see was the anger and frustration from the morning. The words on the page might as well have been Greek because I was so focused on the morning’s circumstances rather than on the Lord. I took a breath and refocused on the passage.
As I went through the list, I realized I was guilty of almost every offense listed. Then, in His fatherly way, the Lord poured His spirit over me and essentially said, “Let’s start again.” So, I prayed, shifted my focus onto Him instead of my morning, and His truth of being holy and separate began to make a lot more sense.
Holiness is a challenging concept. As Christians, we are called to be holy. Paul explains to the Ephesians what holiness looks like in everyday life. Interestingly, Paul is not concerned about one’s appearance or the fashion trends. Paul, like the Lord, speaks straight to the heart. Christians should be aware of their culture and the foolish behaviors that people in our society engage in, yet we should walk away from those behaviors.
We are no longer defined by our culture. When we accepted the gift of salvation, we put that person to death. Our focus should no longer be on ourselves, but on the Lord. This means we don’t throw fits, steal from others, or act arrogantly or vulgarly. When we get angry, we don’t lose control and harm others. We learn to deal with our anger and not hold grudges. We are people of hope and promise, not bitterness. We don’t curse, gossip, or tear each other down. In short, we should act in a way that directs our attention to the Lord and honors Him in every circumstance.
Make no mistake – Satan is waiting to throw curveballs at us and try to tear us apart. He is like a roaring lion always looking for someone to devour. However, we are blessed because the Spirit within us is greater than that lion. The Spirit comforts and guides us through the challenges that fill and disrupt our day. We only need to focus on the Lord and allow Him to lead us through the day! Please, Lord, lead me through today.
God bless you.
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, [m]excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality [n]for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn [o]Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [p]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new [q]self, which [r]in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil [s]an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with [t]one who has need. 29 Let no [u]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [v]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, [w]by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [x]you.