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Ephesians 4: 17 – 18

This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.

In this passage Paul distinguishes the Christian walk from the walk of the Gentiles, “the walk” being a metaphor for how each lives and moves through life. The Gentiles, or the uninformed, walk through life guided by their minds. Paul tells us that this is a futile, useless, way to live life. They are not enlightened. Instead their understanding is darkened. These two are in exact contrast to one another. Their ignorance has barred them from the life of God.

Our arrogance is barring us from a life with God and the life of God. We have so convinced ourselves that we have great intelligence and reasoning powers that we have become hard-hearted and in so doing we have excluded ourselves from living in the grace of God. We have forgotten that we are just a vapor, just a brief “poof” in the fabric of eternity. In the process we have actually convinced ourselves that we have some measurable intelligence on par with God’s all knowingness. Even as we try to argue that we know that God is omniscient we enthrone our great intellect on the throne of our lives. How shall we even seek God’s great wisdom when, in truth, we think ourselves great discerners of life’s mysteries?

God has given us intelligence but it is a mere whisper, a shadow, of the true intellect. Each of us has been in existence less than one hundred years which is nothing in the vastness of time. My point is that even if we have great intelligence, we just don’t live long enough to learn a thimbleful of all there is to know. And frankly, most of us are not Mensa level intellects. Even if we were, that is nothing in light of the Father’s vast wisdom.

If we would humble ourselves before our God, He would give us great wisdom, even full wisdom. He longs to reveal Himself to us. But our hearts have become hard and calloused and true wisdom can only be known in the heart. God would pour all that He is into us if only we would repent of our foolishness and bare our hearts to Him. He is so willing, even longing for just that but we have given our hearts over to an idol. We worship at the throne of self-glorification.

As long as we walk in our own minds, our understanding will be darkened and we will be excluded from the life of God which is the very thing that Jesus came to earth to give us. But this isn’t meant to be a hard, condemning message. It is meant to free you from death and delusion. It is meant to be a key for the shackles that bind so that you can live in the freedom that Christ purchased for you.

This heart journey can be difficult. I do not deny that but everything of worth requires something of us. For those who have courage the pathway to God is revealed. It is in the mind of Christ which is spoken through our hearts. I know that you have been hurt and have built great walls around your fragile heart but God is our fortress and in Him is our great hope. It is in Him we were supposed to deposit our hearts. His walls are strong and unshakeable and within the fortress of our God is everything we need and everything we want. We will never gain our desires if we rely on our own intellect but in God there is all wisdom and the answer for every situation. Open your heart to Him. Tear down the walls that enslave you and rip all idols from their thrones. Bow your intellect to Jesus so that He can fill you with the wisdom of the ages.

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