AVOIDING SPIRITUAL FACE-PLANTING

Read: Ephesians 5:8-21 (AMP Version)

I CRASHED IN A MAGNIFICENT FACE-PLANT

Reflect: The city parking garage was dimly lit at night. As I was walking from my car, I couldn’t see in front of me a cement curb.  My foot didn’t clear the barrier and I went flying through the air.  The concrete in no way cushioned my body as I crashed in a magnificent face-plant (definition: a sudden face-first fall). I could have used this Scripture that warns: Look carefully then how you walk!

WE ARE NOT TO BE REPEATEDLY FACE-PLANTING OURSELVES

As believers, we have to be careful how we walk in navigating our spiritual lives. We are called children of light, who exist in light in the Lord and God’s plan is that we bear fruit of the Light.  We are not supposed to be repeatedly face-planting ourselves because we have tripped over dark barriers God has already warned us about. It is with good reason that Paul warns: Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness. A little darkness, like a little bit of mold, can spread quickly.

DANGER WILL ROGERS! DANGER!

There was once a TV show called Lost in Space.  Whenever the main character got in a perilous situation, the robot cried out, “Danger Will Rogers! Danger!”  Often, Will Rogers didn’t pay attention.  He thought they knew better.  Will stumbled a lot.  Whenever we don’t pay attention to God, we stumble a great deal.  Spiritual face-planting can become a way of life for us.

LESS TRIPPING OVER THAT CURB

What does a stable Christian life look like, one which is not constantly stumbling? It is composed of every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.  A great test to use in figuring this out is to compare your behaviors, habits, and attitudes with Scripture.  Expose it to the Light. Are those words I had considered “kindly goodness” really coming from kindness or because I wanted to retaliate against that person? Are those thoughts enmeshed in my mind, really true or are they based on half-truths regarding the other person/situation?  There is less tripping over that curb when I can see with spiritual clarity.

WHAT DOES WISE CLEAR LIVING LOOK LIKE?

Hope it is not news to you – we do live in days of massive evil. The darkness makes life difficult. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. So, what does wise, clear living look like in our world? Paul reminds us that we have to be thinking clearly.  That’s why he warns against getting drunk.  It’s the principle of not ingesting anything that will make your thinking fuzzy so that you ignore the warning of “Danger Will Rogers! Danger!”  Our thinking can get jumbled by what we choose to drink, see, hear and listen to. Clarity is a vital for avoiding the curbs.

FACE-PLANTING CAN BE AVOIDED

As a remedy, Paul encourages the pattern and attitude of speak(ing) out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.  It is hard to wander off course if our hearts and minds are consumed in worship. Avoiding tripping over that spiritual curb becomes easier, even when the darkness seems to be surrounding you. That dangerous curb becomes clearly illuminated. It is possible to look carefully then how you walk! Spiritual face-planting can be avoided.

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