Read: Ephesians 5: 1-10
Reflect: We’ve completed another week where the focus has been desire. In a second chapter, Beth Moore has urged us to ask God to change our wants. Today, we’ve read another chapter in Ephesians where Paul is instructing his readers to turn away from immorality. And, I believe the ideas of both authors can definitely be linked.
In the Message version, verses 18-20 say this, Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master Jesus Christ.
Both Paul and Beth seem to be reminding us that we don’t need to squelch our wants and desires. We need Christ to redeem them. God wants our lives free of any kind of immorality but not out of duty. He wants us to want it. He doesn’t ask that we lessen our desires. It seems He actually wants our desires to grow.
Respond: Several years ago, I read a C.S. Lewis quote in John Piper’s book, Desiring God, and it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t move past this quote for a period of time. I just kept writing it out, studying it, and confessing the truth of it in my life.
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Sit with that quote and Ephesians 5 for a while today. Paul spent a large portion of Ephesians telling Chris followers how to live in purity. He urged them (and us) to thrown off the immoral and live fully for Jesus. If we aren’t careful, we will take his pleading and create lists of do’s and don’ts. That’s not the point of our Audacious chapter, and C.S. Lewis explained that very well in the quote. Journal your thoughts and form a prayer of response to all we’ve encountered today.
Renew: On page 115, Beth said, once we’ve been caught up in the delight of divine desire, we will never be satisfied apart from it again.
Can you imagine anything better? Spend some time asking God for the “delight of divine (His) desire. Ask Him to change your “want to.” And, confess that you trust His way to be the best way.