"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."
Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV)
You once were dead in your sins…You once had unbelief…You once were in darkness. The ‘once’ indicates a change from what you were doing in the past to doing something different in the present. How often though we are left with consequences or thin threads that still tie us to the past and the ways of the world, leading us into an ‘even though’. But what happens when we find ourselves in an 'even though,' even though we feel we are living a life of obedience?
The ‘even though' walk is about courage….. when it’s dark, when the road is uncertain, when fear is often your only companion, when you are overwhelmed at the length of the journey to the Light, when you know you need to move forward, but not sure what it will mean for what you leave behind. Sustenance on the 'even though' journey comes from God’s Word, time with the Holy Spirit, living generously, caring for community, fasting, and rejoicing. It means nourishing the soul on those things that bring God closer to your heart and less on the ‘stuff’ the world says is important. We walk in a way that does not always default to wondering if God is angry, questioning whether He is good, or assuming He is absent when days are difficult. It is contrary to the world’s way of thinking – a mind-shift, a ‘once was’ no longer.
Obedience is our anchor – disobedience frays the cord that has tethered us to the heart of the Father. We cannot live as the world lives and expect God to transform our lives. If we desire Him above all else, the 'even though's,' whatever they are, will hold little substance. It will be, "Yet will I Praise" ringing from the halls of our hearts, “I am a Child of God” our proclamation, and “How then shall I live?” determining our steps.
What is your 'even though?' Walking loneliness daily, heavy financial strains, broken friendships, illness, loss of dreams, uncertain future, secret sins that plague, cords too strongly tied to the world, anxiety, fear, wondering if God really is near? What is God asking you to trust Him for this Lent Season? What is He asking you to be obedient to? Can your mouth open in praise even though the pain has stiffened heart and lips? In practical terms, it might mean putting down the remote, giving generously, extending hospitality to the lonely, open to new ways to be of service, speaking boldly about your faith, or drowning out the chaotic voice of the world to hear only the whisper of the Saviour? It is more than just giving up something, it is a turning of our heart’s focus – a ‘once was' to an ‘even now.'
P.S. Follow along with the continuation of this selected passage with the upcoming blogs of this lenten season here.
Terri is a mother to one, a sister to three, a friend to anyone who wants one, and a passionate lover of beauty. Her heart has two homelands – Vancouver and Uganda. She loves to cook and create. She’s a child of God and His Master's piece in progress. She lives under grace, with a grateful heart, but often with a dash of doubt and fear.