Our focus this coming week is to search out the highest thoughts available and strive to keep them in focus. As a recap, we were discussing "How We Walk". The basis of our conversations were Ephesians 4:
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord entreat you to walk (making your way, progressing through opportunities; how you conduct and regulate yourself as you pass by things / people) in a manner worthy (your suit, what image is showing or manifesting) of the calling(divine invitation to embrace God's salvation), with which you HAVE BEEN called (receive and bear the name of; to salute one by name).
Not being Greek or even a scholar of any type, I have to research why translators choose a defining word to represent the original language. When I do this, I have to pause and dig deep; turn the situations to peer all angles. Most importantly I have to read the whole story being told and what the situation / application is.
Paul is stated to be "entreating" these individuals.What that means is, he was calling them to come along on this walk with him, to walk like Christ walked, which was the way Paul strived to not only walk, but lead, teach, encourage, train up and disciple. He wanted them to understand that they were watched by the lost, by the hurting and those looking to catch a glimpse of what Christ looks like. They were watching to see if the ones passing by were trustworthy to follow and find Christ, or maybe simply desiring to catch them in a way which would strip them of their integrity. Either way, it was and IS important that what we proclaim and what we manifest match.
But we did not see Christ; we do not have Paul, Peter and the others to watch and follow. But we have something better....the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is humble, gentle, patient and shows forbearance to us in love. Paul said this is what our walk should look like as you pass through out your day. Think of it as the suit they see us wearing and how we act in it. When you pass by a mirror, do you see how you walk, the things you do......or do you simply see how good you look on the outside and make adjustments? We need to take a quick look deeper than that and check out how our soul looks. Who's suit are you wearing? (these are linked back to the topics on suits and image, click them if you did not read them...please!)
We do not use the word forbearance often, what does that really mean? We did a little exercise on with pillows in the day group to experience what this looks like. Forbearance in the Greek means to hold up, hold against, cling to as in a marriage vow. It has to do with what we extend or reject as when the bible tells us to "extend peace" yet when our peace is rejected to keep it and walk away. God do is entreating us to not walk outside of His will. Where are we walking? Why are we in the intimate companionship of those who are not walking worthy of the call? Did we give our self over to a relationship that was not called by the same name?
It went on to explain that we are enabled to walk this way due to the unity of the holy spirit. We can love, forgive and relate without hypocrisy due to HIM, those without His power are able to muster up the ability for selfish gain, but not out of true love - because they are not IN love! Verse 17 and 18 explains it like this:
This I say, therefore, and affirm together with the Lord (an example of the power of the unity / one mind with Christ's thoughts) that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, (how do they walk ????) in the futility of their mind! (what does this walk look like ?) being darkened in their understanding.....excluded from the life of God, because....of the hardness of their heart; and they have become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness (they can't get enough they try it every way and even manufacture new ways.....they can't feel when they touch, they can't feel when they ARE touched. )
God does not want to be blamed or given credit for what we "give ourselves" to. He desire the credit for helping us through the consequences by extending His mercy and grace; which empowers us beyond our natural capabilities to get through the moments we are walking out.
Think about this - tomorrow I will send a little something special to encourage and stimulate us to walk on........well!
Walk on my friends, in peace and the mind of Christ!
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