For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
Therefore I say this—indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking. Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God’s will. They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity, and always greedy for more. But this is not the lesson you learned from the Messiah! If you really listened to him and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth, then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth.
Two natures, old and new, opposite in structure and function are presented to produce an awareness of who the believer is. Knowledge of who one is and what the significance of that is for them takes the individual into a victorious life despite the circumstances that may surround them. The old nature has lost feeling and so seeks it in experiences, in sensuality, leading those who possess the old nature into a life of impurity and they are always seeking more. There is a lack of knowledge of who they can be in Christ, they are in darkness and separated from God, the one they resist. There is an if; a BIG if; “if you really listened to him (Jesus), and were instructed about him…then you must strip off your old nature.” Why? Because it is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires. The old nature itself is deceptive; is deceiving.
Recognition of what one once was and what one is changing into assists in the taking off and putting on. This involves choices, decisions, actions on the part of the believer. They are not passive waiting for something to happen. Being renewed involves new thoughts changing the manner in which the mind thinks. First the old, destructive thoughts must be recognized. They are then rejected and replaced with new thoughts that encourage and build up the individual. These can be found in scripture. The believer is not left without resources and the believer must practice with what is perfect.
Pray – Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, the thoughts so destructive that come unbidden and attempt to stay, O, Lord, for I hide myself in You. Give me the thoughts from scripture to ward off the attacks.
Repent – I repent for entertaining the former thoughts that lead to deception and are lies.
Ask – Teach me to do Your will for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies…
Yes – Destroy all those harassing me, for I am your servant.
Sources: Ephesians, Psalm 143