On Sunday we looked at Ephesians 5:1-14 and reviewed "Two More Steps" as we understand what it means to "walk worthy". Ephesians began with lots of theological truth which has been followed by very specific steps we can take in our quest to walk worthy of the calling we have in Jesus. Two issues that hold many Christians in a state of ineffectiveness with Christ include our "self-image", and "hidden sin".
In the verses we looked at Sunday, we saw the potential solution to both of those problems.
1. Self-Image Problems
You are loved! Ephesians 5:1 says, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." The truth about every Christian is that we ARE beloved children.
Children who are loved act in certain ways. They have a certain security because they know they belong. They feel that they matter because their father recognizes their uniqueness. They feel protection, because a loving father always sets, and disciplines around clear boundaries. And they feel prepared, because a loving father has given them knowledge and wisdom to take with them in life. During the sermon Sunday, I mentioned a prayer that you may want to embrace if you struggle at all with self-image. It comes from a book given to me months ago by someone who has experienced a new and profound freedom from sin. The book is called "To kill a Lion" by Bruce Lengeman. The prayer goes like this:
“Heavenly Father, I recognize that I view myself in my “Natural Mirror” and do not acknowledge that I am valuable to you and to I others. You have put spiritual gifts in me, and I confess that my self-devaluing is not from you and not glorifying to you. Influences in my life drove me to this self-disregard, but I take full responsibility for making agreement with the unworthiness. “Now, as a result of what you have shown me, I repent of my low self-image. I break my agreement with the false humility and the lies that say that I am not as valuable as others. I also renounce all the negative thoughts that keep me under others, and I confess before Satan and his cohorts that I am now free to love myself as God loves me. I am finished with unworthiness by God’s holy grace and power. I now replace my “Natural Mirror” with my “God Mirror.” I accept that Jesus died on the cross to secure my value and has given me gifts of the Spirit and that I am also fearfully and wonderfully made according to Psalm 139. I choose to forgive those who wronged me by putting me below them. From now on, thoughts of inadequacy will not be permitted to take root in my mind. I rejoice that you have promised me freedom and, according to Romans 6:14, this sin of unbelief will have no more dominion over me
2. Hidden Sin Problems
Ephesians 5:8 says
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
What does that look like for us as believers? Verse 11 gives us more,
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darknes, but instead expose them
and verse 13 says
But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
The best thing you and I can do when we wrestle with hidden sin, is to find a safe place to confess it. James 5:16 says,
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
Hidden sin is a trap by the enemy! He will use it to control you with shame, with doubts, with the belief that you are not worthy of ministry. He will convince you that you alone struggle with sin. He will do everything he can to hold you in a state of immobility for Christ.
The good news is this. We never were righteous because of what we did! Our righteousness comes IN CHRIST, and He is faithful and always righteous within us.
So, the keys are this,
- Walk in Love (You are beloved children)
- Live as Light (You are Light in the Lord)
Embrace the truth of who you are and what you are, and let's dismantle the enemies lies that he uses to hold us back in our walk with God.