Jesus brought us and taught us a very meaningful and abundant and eternity-centric way of life which is not like the way of life the world hands down to us. Today we see in Ephesians 4 that there are choices and paths and even accelerants to ‘help’ us…
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. 19 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.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.
Darkness. Separation from God. Ignorance. Insensitivity. Sensuality. Indulgence. Impurity. Greed. Empty way of life…
How do these ideas or concepts work together? Paul describes in Ephesians 4 a way of life that is handed down to us naturally, yet is not the way of life learned through Jesus. Jesus did not simply come to die. That is a one dimensional view of the gospel and the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus came first to live. He lived before he died.
Jesus brought us and taught us a very meaningful and abundant and eternity-centric way of life which is not like the way of life separated from God. And without getting to far into what the dark, worldly life looks like (because to do so would let some of you off the hook when you say, ‘I am not that bad person’) the greed of the empty way of life translates into us living how we want to live.
The life without God is a greedy, self-centred, keep control for myself, master of my own destiny form of living. And that form of living takes us away from God and leads us toward darkness. Whatever your darkness is. Okay: think about your personal darkness. Got it?
Now understand that you will indulge in your darkness more when you live for the worldly life purposes than if you live for the eternity-centric purposes of life which make it worthy of the calling we have received… that’s Paul’s point.
That’s why Jesus lived an alternative life for us. A better way. The real truth. A better life.
Are you impacted by this? Are you wrestling in this area? Let me help you. If we want to know what our place is on the path toward the empty life or the worthy life, you really must personalize the test. This is where the interweb helps…
Websites personalize the advertising you receive on webpages based on your browsing history. What you click on predicts what you will see next time you surf the internet. I recently helped my son purchase tires for his truck. For weeks after purchasing the tires, my web browsing is littered with advertising for tires. Why? Because I searched for tires online several times.
Because you watched: Netflix has a whole section of their menu which is dedicated to suggesting shows and movies to you based on what you have watched before.
Instagram is no different. If you go into the search menu, you will see pages and pages of images which, when you tap them, will say underneath, Based on photos you liked.
Based on people you follow.
Similar to accounts you interact with.
Our lives – and this is underscored perfectly by the way technology propels us – are heading in a direction. I had a bit of an aha moment recently when one of those ‘Similar to accounts you interact with’ experiences was not an example of what I thought should appear on my page.
What account on social media did I interact with that made you (Instagram) think this was my way of life? Was it my friend’s interests being suggested for me? Was it my own click-trends that were too close to an unsavory element which match an algorithm in their system?
Check yourself. If you think Google’s algorithms are smart, imagine how clever Satan’s personalization engine is for tempting us…
When greed to determine our own direction and our way of life takes us away from God’s way of life for us, we start down a path toward our darkness. Or we take further steps down the path we shouldn’t be on.
Which life will you pursue today? The self-centred empty way of life or the worthy, eternity-centric life? Life is choices… make a good one today.