Ephesians 4:17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
This chapter read like it was the “should and don’t” chapter. I completely agreed with the “should and don’t” lists. Of course I would; I’m still repenting of being a “should and don’t” person. After looking at the whole chapter for a few days I’ve come to believe my first assessment of the chapter was “futility” thinking. I mistakenly got so caught up in the “should and don’t” list I missed the real point.
“Should and don’t” are like the back-door delivery system for renewal and transformation. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t believe God sends his servants to the back door.
This is the real point of the “should and don’t” list: to be captured by the Lord so our longing is more than to work the list. We long to let the Lord change our minds so we can be renewed and transformed right right out in plain sight.
“Every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” is our “one hope” to “live a life worthy of the calling” we “have received…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Insist on it!
Excerpts from a 1928 Sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
…Watch out for your soul. What should we say about this soul? It is the life God gave us; it is what God loves in us, what God has touched from eternity. It is the love within us and the longing and the sacred restlessness and the responsibility and joy and pain. It is the divine breath breathed into a transitory being. Human being, you have a soul
…But, ah, look what has become of it down through the years! A restless, distracted, tormented, despondent thing, shaken to and fro by daily events, a thing that knows not whether it’s coming or going. And now it encounters the statement: my soul is silent before God
…And yet our entire being thirsts for solitude, for silence, since ultimately we have all, at one time or another, experienced such silence and have not forgotten the benefits of such hours. Today, however, we are not talking about being silent while reading a book or listening to a song or something like that, but about being silent before God
…Such silence requires the daily courage to expose oneself to God’s word and allow oneself to be judged by it; it requires the spontaneity to rejoice in God’s love every day. But this already brings us to the question: What are we supposed to do to penetrate through to this silence
…None of us is so rushed that we cannot find ten minutes a day during the morning or evening to be silent, to focus on eternity alone, allow eternity to speak, to query it concerning ourselves, and in the process look deeply into ourselves and far beyond ourselves, either by reading a couple of biblical passages or, even better, by becoming completely free and allowing our soul to travel to the house of the Father, to the home in which it finds peace…