Ephesians 4 & 5: Your Walk Reveals Where You Come From
Read Ephesians 4 and Ephesians 5:1-20 prior to reading this blog.
Welcome to the turning point of the Letter to the Ephesians! The first three chapters of Ephesians are about what God has done for us and the last three chapters show us how to live in response to what God has done for us. So here it goes, Paul laying out this Christian walk for us: beginning with the heart. As it is said in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” Whatever the state of your heart is the state of your walk.
Your Walk Reveals Where You Come From
Before leading this bible study, I was an actress. Some of you may know this story, but if you don’t, here it is! I started my career in Los Angeles, setting out on a solo voyage at 18. In sunny California, I broke into the film industry and worked on my training. I eventually got picked up by two agents, moving me to Atlanta where I continued to act in theatre, commercials, movies, and TV shows. This is how I paid my bills: acting. I did this for two years before God plucked me out of the big cities and moved me back home. A lot of people think acting may just be about a pretty face and crying on cue, but this is really far from the case. Actors continuously train, rigorously. We are near always in training: training our bodies, our voices, our minds. A lot of us attend pretentious institutions and/or have private coaches, year-round. Acting is a craft, a science, a complete study of the human condition. One big thing we studied? How something as simple as a walk can tell the whole story of the character.
This beautiful way to study and prepare a character, through their walk, was actually a well-known fact back in the day: the way you hold yourself reveals where you come from. Teachers would instruct their students to put textbooks on their heads, teaching them how to walk and hold themselves well. If a character walks quickly with a hunched back, you can presume that they’re poor and anxious. But if they come from a line of royalty, they’ll walk slowly, with long strides, their head up straight, and shoulders back.
What does your walk reveal about you?
Do the words you say, your deeds, and how you live your life reveal you come from a line of royalty, that you are a daughter of the King?
A daughter of the King does not walk to earn merit, she knows she has it. She walks differently because she now knows where she comes from and where she’s going. Paul is begging us to walk in who we really are. Ephesians 4:1 “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” The story of the Gospel: Jesus shedding His blood for us on a rugged cross to remove the penalty of our sin so that we may have eternal life with Him, is not a story that should be taken lightly. It is a story full of grace that calls us heirs and affects how we now live.
How should we walk?
By being imitators of God (the apple shouldn’t fall far from the tree). Peter says in 1 Peter 1:15-16: “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Peter and Paul call us to practical action.
Here’s the practicality: We should walk in humility, gentleness, patience, allowance for each other’s faults, love, and peace, laying down our life for others. By doing this, we reveal where we come from and Who we belong to. When we live our lives in these ways, we radiate the love of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:14: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Take off the Old Clothes
-We must not tell lies (4v.25)
-Let anger control us (4v.26)
-Use foul, harsh, or abusive language (4v.29)
-Have bitterness or rage (4v.31)
-Slander others (4v.31)
-Have a hint of sexual immorality (5v.3)
-Impurity (which means dirty, immoral behavior). (5v.3)
-Foolish talk (5v.4)
-Coarse joking (5v.4)
-Getting drunk (5v.18)
I am not saying these things to indicate that I am perfect and never slip. That is far from the truth, I still have things I’m working on. But daily, I ask God for His strength to keep these things far from me, because I know when I take off the clothing of Christ, my posture changes.
How do your activities affect your posture?
Two weeks ago I started an 8-5, working in an office, at a computer. I’ve never held an office job, ever. Wow, did it kill me. The first few days were horrible... I could see and feel my posture changing. I constantly had back pain due to this hunched back, tensed shoulders, and a clenched jaw. Everyone could tell: “Christina, have you had a bad week? Wow, Christina, you look exhausted. You seem stressed out.” I needed realignment. So I put a textbook on my head and walked around my house, working to straighten my back. I was taking the time to fix the detriment of my activities. See, we can spend time doing things that negatively affect our walk. But all we need is realignment. Just because you trip up does not mean you can’t fix it up. Although I try, my walk is not always graceful, but it is filled with grace. Line yourself up with these following things and gauge how your posture is. Do you walk in the things Paul asks you to leave behind? As daughters of the Most High King, this is what we should reflect:
-Use your hands for good hard work. (4v.28)
-Give generously to those in need. (4v.28)
-Let everything you say be good and helpful, speak words of encouragement. (4v.29)
-Be kind to each other. (4v.32)
-Make the most of every opportunity. (5v.16)
-Forgive one another just as Christ has forgiven you. (4v.32)
-Give thanks to God the Father for everything. (5v.20)
You may be looking at this list and realizing wow, I have troubles with those, so I want to encourage you real quick:
The Holy Spirit Helps Us
We have The Holy Spirit. The closer you walk with Jesus, the more you’ll notice your thoughts, your desire, and attitudes being renewed from the inside out. I’m not saying you won’t trip up here and there, but you certainly won’t be as clumsy as you were before you knew Christ.
Ephesians 4:21-24 “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone...When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”
In coming to Christ, how have you felt your thoughts and attitudes being renewed?
What is one area in your life you feel you need to realign to the Spirit?
What is one God-given gift (Ephesians 4:13) you have been given that:
Makes you unique
You feel you can use to positively impact the world?
Examples: a giving heart, organization, leadership, discerning good & bad, making others feel welcome, encouraging others, faith, knowledge in a specific area, mercy, love for service, wisdom, teaching...
Thank you for leading me to You. For running after me and guiding me in Your loving arms. I thank You for the immense love You have for me... Due to this love, Lord, I want to become more like Your son, Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, I let you come into my life: renew my thoughts and attitudes. Scan my whole heart and reveal to me the things You would like to uproot. Replace it with Your truth. Mold me in my walk, to leave the things from my past behind. Make me a new creation in Your love. I submit my life to you, My Lord. Make me into the daughter you have called me to be, so that I may do good works for Your Kingdom. As I continue on this walk, continue to lovingly convict me before I slip up, and if I do slip up Lord, please help me to extend grace to myself.
I pray this in Your Name,