Read: Ephesians 4:17-24
Reflect: Have you ever been to an amusement park with a Log Flume? You know, one of those rides based on the old logging chutes where you sit in a hollowed-out tree trunk and come crashing down a waterfall, ultimately spraying water every which way while soaking those in its proximity. Well, I LOVE being in the ride, but HATE being on the cross-walk overlooking the ride when it hits the bottom.
As an awkward junior high boy visiting a certain amusement park, I remember that feeling of being utterly soaked with no hope for a fix. Everything I wore to the park that day, including my hat, everything in my pockets, and my socks, had received a thorough drenching. What was worse for me is that I didn’t have a change of clothes and I hadn’t worn my swim trunks. I was in heavy khaki pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt with another undershirt, and had a fishing hat on, the kind that has a round brim all the way around your head. I was a sodden mess. Being drenched with no relief is a feeling nobody enjoys.
In this scenario, were the water a covering of sin, it would have been even worse. The Apostle Paul, in speaking of people mired in sin, says: “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. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” (Eph. 4:18 – 19)Ephesians 4:18-19
I’ve felt this. Have you? I’ve been weighed down by the soaking of sin, drowning and separated from God due to the hardening of my heart. Empathize with me for a moment – you feel trapped, vulnerable, sometimes overcome with grief and shame, and even the passage of time doesn’t remove the feeling of being water-logged. It’s just a terrible experience.
I wish that I’d had a friend like Paul in junior high because Paul follows his earlier warning with the advice we need. He basically says: “CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES, FRIEND!”. “That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:20 – 24)
Apply: So, I’ll encourage you right now; however far you might feel from freedom, to put off your old self, put on the new self that is created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. Change your clothes, friend!