In my study this morning, I came across a question that started me down an angry path. On my drive I tried to talk myself down, pray myself down, but I couldn’t let go. So as I came to my desk, I chose to look at what God’s Word had to say about my feelings, that are only how I felt, not what is God’s absolute truth. It took me a while to drill down to what I needed to hear. In case someone else needs this truth from Ephesians 4 today, I’m sharing it here.
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3) It is pride that causes me to believe I deserve to be treated better than my memory brought up for me this morning. But God’s Word doesn’t say that I should only be patient and kind to those who are kind to me. I am to walk in a manner worthy of His calling upon my life.
I’m to remember what I’ve been taught and shown in God’s Word. “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way” (Eph 4:17-20).
God has given me a new and supple heart and sealed me with His Spirit (Ez 36:26), so I no longer have a darkened understanding or a hard heart.
His Word tells me “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph 4:22-24).
Because I am His child, I have the ability to lay down my angry and hurtful feelings and go before Him to be filled with His grace, mercy, love, patience and peace so I can lay down my prideful indignation. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
Having gone into His presence and asking for His mercy and grace to let go of my anger and hurt, He has removed it from my heart and mind. I am now able to “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Eph 4:29-32)
I can attest that in short order, the Lord has removed the malice from my heart and mind and replaced it with His peace because I choose to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7) Thank You for Your faithfulness, Lord Jesus!