We continue with our focus on walking and living in honor and then, of course, in the blessing it brings.
Well, having received this place or position of honor in Christ that we spoke about in a previous session, Paul, in Ephesians 4 continues with a ‘charge’ that we walk or live in a way worthy of this.
Ephesians 4:1 says, “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling…”
In Chapter 4 and verse 17 Paul continues with this:
“With the Lord’s authority I say this - Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him. Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (NLT) (own emphasis)
So, we are to step away from living a life of shame and step into a life of ‘honor.’ And Paul is very specific in the words that he uses. He says:
Live no longer for lustful pleasure, practicing every kind of impurity. Pornography, sexual fantasies, masturbation and other addictions are lustful pleasures destroying the lives of men. This is not what we have learned in Christ who gave His life to set us free from a lifestyle of shame and restoring our ‘honor.’
Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
Stop telling lies. Lying to others in any form leads to deception and destruction in your life. Satan lied to Adam and Eve and through this brought about the fall of man. Stop getting angry. It gives a foothold to the devil. Quit stealing, rather work hard and then give generously to others. Don’t use foul or abusive language; rather make sure that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander.
Paul uses words that are explicit: live no longer, throw off, stop, and get rid of. In other words, take control of your life; begin to rule and govern your life for no one else can do this for you. People can help you, pray for you and guide you but they cannot govern your thoughts, emotions, attitudes and behavior.
Proverbs 25:28 “He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.” (Amp) (own emphasis). We have to exercise rule and self-control over our emotions and actions today or we will forever be plundered by the enemy, like that city with broken down walls.
When a sky diver jumps out of a plane he gets to the point when he must pull the cord to release the parachute! He can’t think or try in a while…he has to do it, now! If you were driving along the road and a horse jumped out in front of you, there’s no time to consider things, you have to immediately hit the brakes or possibly you will be killed.
Now, we are not able in our own strength to ‘be’ the men of honor God has called us to be. Therefore Jesus said he would send us the Holy Spirit: the helper, the strengthener, the enabler, to empower us to live a godly life. We then walk not by our own might and power but by His Spirit flowing through us, enabling us to replace the negative emotions with the fruits of His Spirit. That is the ‘power of surrender,’ allowing Him to strengthen and equip us, making us all that we ought to be.
The Holy Spirit will help you release the love, forgiveness and honor towards other people in your family and in your workplace, so that you can then walk in the abundant blessing that it brings.