1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV)
Where would I be without the insight I gain from spending time in God’s Word? The lessons I learn on a daily basis were not taught to me in school, I didn’t learn them from my peers, and I certainly wasn’t born with an innate sense of knowing God’s ways or His will. There is only one way to learn to follow God’s will for my life and it is by spending time in His Word.
Paul says that there is a knowledge that we don’t have to learn and that is the ways of the world. We are born with certain desires and cravings and these tend to lead most of us throughout our entire lives. We are “obedient” to the natural cravings and desires that we are born with and yet Paul says that these cravings and desires make us “disobedient” to God’s ways and His will. Paul also says that all of us lived among the disobedient at one time. All of us. We were born obedient to our own desires, but disobedient to God’s will. How do we break the stranglehold that our desires have on us?
If we want to begin to live a new life then the first step is to confess our disobedience to God, ask Jesus to come into our hearts, and ask God to begin to teach us to follow Him rather than own desires. That is where it all begins, but that is only the beginning. We must learn. We must roll up our sleeves, dig deep into God’s Word, and then seek to apply the lessons we learn each and every day of our lives.
Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, were fishermen. They knew all about fishing, but Jesus wanted to teach them about another subject so He said, 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 NIV) Jesus was constantly teaching and showing His followers what it meant to live according to God’s ways so they might live out God’s will for their life. He taught them how to deal with their natural, fleshy desires. 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24 NIV) Jesus taught His followers about the powerful pull of seeking wealth instead of seeking God. He said,
13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13 NIV)
Jesus spent time teaching His followers about God’s ways. Ways that are so foreign to our natural way of doing life. Those same lessons are available to me today, if I will simply take the time to learn of His ways and then seek to apply them in the living of my life. I have a choice to make today. Will I just do what comes naturally or will I commit myself to learning God’s ways by spending time in His Word?
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will give me a consuming desire to learn more and more about You and how You desire for me to live this life You have given to me. Teach me and empower me to live out the truths of Your Word.