The chapter starts out with a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for the people of Ephesus. Don’t have a hint of sexual immorality or impurity. Don’t engage in obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. Don’t get drunk on wine. Do speak with Thanksgiving. Do make the most of every opportunity. Live wisely. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Speak to others with psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart.
Don’t get distracted by the darkness. Instead, live as a child of the light.
I struggle with the feeling of being left out. It’s actually its own acronym now – FOMO, fear of missing out. I want to be engaged in what’s going on around me. I want to be reading the books, watching the movies, listening to the podcasts or music that are popular. I want to know every word to every song that plays on the radio because I love to sing along.
And this FOMO can get me distracted by the darkness. I’m not saying that every TV show, song, book or podcast is coming from the devil. I actually think it is a balance for each person to decide on their own. And if I trust the Holy Spirit is working within me, then I can trust that the Holy Spirit is working in others to help make that discernment. This is not a place of judgment, but an opportunity to tap into the gift that is the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where your distraction may be.
Because we are supposed to live differently than who we were before.
Can I trust God to give me a life that is fulfilled? Or do I try to find that fulfillment on my own?
And then, the chapter turns to submission. I’ve heard preachers in the past say that while it does say that wives submit to their husbands, it also talks about husbands laying down their lives for their wives. And the verse right before all of that says that we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. So the question that comes to me there is…
Can I trust God with my relationships? Or do I try to control them so I don’t get hurt? Can I depend on God enough that I don’t depend on others too much? We are made for relationship with each other, but God needs to be the center, the fulcrum of that relationship.
Jesus was fully present in the lives of the people around him. He had deep relationships, healthy relationships with his friends and followers. He is the example of a good friend. And yet, his relationships weren’t perfect. His closest friend, Peter, denied him when he needed him most. But Jesus trusted God with all things, even his relationships, and after he resurrected, he was able to redeem that relationship.
Trusting God doesn’t mean that we will never miss out on opportunities or that we will have perfect relationships. But it does mean that His promises to us will be fulfilled. It means that we don’t have to navigate this world or this life alone. It means that He won’t forsake us and that He will guide us every step of the way.