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The Thrill of His Spirit

Words of Faith Final

The Thrill of His Spirit

Words of Faith 3-11-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 4

[17] So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.   [18] They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.   [19] Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 

 

     We live in an interesting time.  There has never been a more entertainment and media-driven culture capable of delivering more light, sound, and thrills to our senses.  There has never been a more technologically connected culture literally shaking us with sound and blinding us with sensation.  We live in 3D, Dolby enhanced, pulse-pounding world that can draw us into experiences that once were only dreams and imagination.

     Paul lived in a similar time, even if it was far less technological.  Because of brilliant engineering and mass taxation, almost every sensation could be indulged in the new big Roman cities that dotted the routes of the new stone roadways crisscrossing the world. Violent and even horrific entertainment brought crowds to their feet with a roar never before heard in stadiums that were structural marvels.  The Coliseum in Rome could be filled with water to simulate a sea battle only to instantly drain as exotic animals rose on platforms from beneath the spectators only to tear pitiful victims apart. 

      It is little wonder that Paul warned the believers in Ephesus-- You must no longer live as the Gentiles do.  The point was not ethnic origin or religious birthright.  Paul was making the point that nearly all Gentiles in that time were part of that Roman pagan world, lost and without God.  They were darkened in their understanding.  They were separated from the life of God. They were hardened in their hearts.

      Paul warned against following the path of those who had no sensitivity to God.  The word is "apathetic."  They had no feeling or conscience from which to choose or respond in a godly way. They had surrendered themselves over to sensuality.  We often think of sensuality as solely a matter of sexual sin but it really means satisfying the senses rather than satisfying God. The ancient world was addicted to the sensations provided by violence, entertainment, appetite and lust.  They indulged every kind of impurity and were filled with greed-- a continual lust for more.

      This had nothing to do with Jews or Gentiles.  This was simply the way of the world.  This is the world around us.  Today Paul might write: "I insist that you no longer live in the way of the world."  The understanding of the world is darkened.  There is no life separated from God.  The hearts of the worldly are hardened.  The world focuses on sensuality and greed.

      It makes sense, really.  If you are without God you are dead-- there is an increasing numbness.  Thrills, lights, and pounding sounds create the illusion that one is alive, when they are dead.  Our culture pounds us with more intense experiences as if to convince those who are dead that they are somehow alive.  But the charge of adrenalin is a poor substitute for New Birth by the Spirit of God.

      Here is a thought for the day.  Something to think about before planning, acting, or spending.  Something to ponder before submitting oneself to the latest entertainment or media package.  Something to consider before taking a thrill ride, watching the latest blockbuster, or jumping from a bridge.  Am I alive?  Do I really need the thrills that the world offers? 

      Perhaps what I really need is the thrill simply of knowing and walking with God.

 

     Father God, sensitize my Spirit to You.  Draw me into the unmatched thrill of Life that is in the Spirit.  Propel me into the adventure of walking with You moment by moment.  Breathe on me with the energy of the Spirit that eclipses any rush of adrenaline.  Gently reassure me of Your presence and remove the allure of the world that is around me.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.