17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. (Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV)
I know that I had better pay attention when someone says, “I insist on it in the Lord!” What Paul is insisting on is one of the biggest problems in the Body of Christ in our day. We, who claim to be following Jesus, seem to be following the ways of our culture much more closely than we are following our King. This should not be.
Paul highlights some of the characteristics of those who are living for themselves rather than for the Lord. I went through and made a list.
* They are darkened in their understanding.
* They are separated from the life of God as a result of their ignorance caused by a hardened heart.
* They have lost all sensitivity to the urging of God.
* They’ve given themselves over to sensuality which has led to their indulging in every impurity.
* They have an unquenchable lust for more.
I believe we were created with a “thirst,” a “hunger,” an innate understanding that there has to be more to this life than what we are presently experiencing. All people share this experience, but it is what we do once we recognize the hunger and thirst that is critical for us. We can try and satisfy our hunger and thirst with the things we can see. This is what Paul is describing for us in Ephesians 4. The things of this world satisfy like a thirsty man trying to satisfy his thirst with saltwater. It just doesn’t work. Our other option is to seek to satisfy our hunger and thirst with a relationship with God. David wrote,
1 …As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:1-2 NIV)
If we are going to see the Body of Christ become what God desires for us to become then we must cease our quest for satisfaction in the experiences and stuff of this world and find lasting satisfaction in God alone.
My prayer today, Lord, is that we, the Body of Christ, would recognize that You alone can satisfy the deepest longings of our lives.