Ephesians: Day 10

Children of Light

by

Today's Text: Ephesians 4:17-5:21, Romans 1:19-21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 1:5-10

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.

- Ephesians 5:8-10 -

I picked up a crumpled foil gum wrapper by the staircase. Three steps up I found another one. And then another. At the top of the stairs I found a few more. Curiosity piqued, I turned the corner to peer into my son’s room. Under a maroon-colored blanket I saw the shape of a preschooler. In front of the mound of blanket-covered-preschooler, I found a pile of gum wrappers. I walked up to the mound.

“Michael? Are you under the blanket?”

The shape shook his head.

“Michael? Are you chewing gum?”

Again, the shape shook his head.

I lifted the blanket to find my son, cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk. His mouth was so full, he couldn’t bring his lips to close. Barely able to chew, Michael had managed to stuff an entire pack of chewing gum in his mouth.

When it comes to sin, I’m not so different from my preschool-aged son. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, my first response to sin is to hide and cover (Genesis 3:7-10). Instead of an actual blanket, I often hide under a cloak of defensiveness or rationalization when I sin. You know what happens in the place of hiding and covering? Rotting, stinky, cold, isolated living—that’s what happens in the darkness.

Paul brilliantly establishes in the first half of Ephesians our position in Christ and then spends the remainder of the letter addressing the practice of the Christian life. Our position should inform our practice, but often we confuse the order and attempt Christian conduct apart from understanding our standing before God. When we flip practice and position, we may seek to adhere to stringent dos and don’ts out of fear, or to earn brownie points. But living the Christian life through self-effort is unsustainable.

God did not abandon us to live the Christian life in our own strength. He is our Source and Provider. We invest time studying God’s Word in order to know Him, not just know about Him. As we know Him, we will love, trust, and obey Him, and our conduct flows out of this love relationship. We know Him by walking in the light, and we walk in the light by knowing Him.

What’s more, God provides His Spirit to empower us to walk in the Light. The secret of the Christian life is being filled by and walking in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16), which comes through confessing our sin and yielding our lives to God in response to His goodness and mercy (Psalm 145:9). The word “confess” comes from a word meaning “to speak the same.” Speaking the same about our sin is to admit we blew it. No rationalization, no excuses, no hiding, no hiding under the blanket of our shame— only recognizing the beautiful truth that our forgiveness is complete because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.

When we know our position— children of God who are forgiven, renewed, and provided for in Christ Jesus — then we can practice walking in the light, being imitators of the God who created us and saves us (Ephesians 5:1).

Like lifting the blanket to expose my gum-chewing son, the gospel of Christ gives us the freedom to throw off our old sinful nature and be renewed by the Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-23). The darkness may feel deceivingly comfortable to us for a time, but true healing, freedom, warmth, connection, and community only happen in the light of Christ.

Father, we want to know you and walk in the light. Show us through your Spirit the places in our heart where we hide and cover. Give us courage to yield our whole lives to you. Thank you for your perfect timing and perfect provision. We love you. Amen.

 

Vivian Mabuni is an author and speaker, and a sushi, white Christmas lights, coffee-with-friends-lover. She has been on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for 26 years and serves with Epic Movement, the Asian-American ministry of Cru. Vivian is the author of Warrior In Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community and the God Who Comforts.

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  • So convicted. In a good, growing way. Thank-you for the message!

  • Kasey Summers

    The Spirit empowers us to walk in light! I can’t do that on my own. I must rely on God. Keep my eyes focused on Him. It’s so easy to get distracted and that’s what the enemy wants. Prayers is so so powerful. Praying God would keep my mind focused on and relying on Him!

  • HelenWalksinAwe

    What a beautiful and wide-ranging conversation today. Thanks for asking for prayers and sharing your struggles every day. I feel like such a part of a community when I read this and all the loving, genuine responses.

    There is so much I pulled out of today's scriptures that it's kind of overwhelming to write all in the comments here. But woah!

    First, the often partially-quoted Ephesians 4:26-27 and how it shows up so often in marriage advice books/columns/blogs/you name it but that it's so often over-simplified as "don't go to bed angry" when that's not really what it's saying at all.

    Then, the amount of time Paul spends addressing our words between 4:25 and 5:20. I have known since childhood that my mouth would be the biggest barrier between me and heaven, and today seeing all of this talk of words in one place really hit home. I'm starting to see the value of all those monastic orders and their vows of silence. It also encourages me to make a silent retreat once this baby is old enough. Oh, he needs to be born first. One thing at a time.

    As was mentioned earlier, the use of the words "futile" and "futility" when Paul writes about our minds in the absence of God. . . that leapt out at me, too. For a multitude of reasons.

    And finally, this is the big one, Ephesians 5:13. It's been on my mind since earlier this summer. I just am hung up on building an understanding of the extent to which things that become visible and exposed to light actually become light. I understand this to mean that even sins, once confessed and repented, can become light in the sense that they can become godly– part of His plan, His goodness, His glory. It seems like some kind of irreconcilable paradox, and yet scripture tells us that even all our sins that necessitated Jesus's excruciating death on the cross were for Him to receive glory through his mercy and love. I don't know. I look at some of the bad things I've done, repented for, confessed, and accepted Chris's forgiveness. I feel like they've become good things in my life– sometimes to the point that I worry I'm letting myself off the hook or being delusional or something, because they were, after all, sins– but I dunno. Maybe that's how this is supposed to work. Like it says in Corinthians, we are "new creatures" in Christ. When I think about the more literal definition of creature (a being that was created; a product of creation) it kind of makes more sense. Because once I gave my sin over to God to heal me, He used that re-creation to make me a different creature entirely. No longer darkness, I am light. No longer sin-stained but perhaps sin-shaped, molded into a better person and new creation through my bad choices, but more importantly through the transformative love of our Savior and Lord.

    I'm curious about your understandings of this verse or what you think about all of this.

    • Sharon

      I have those same questions, as does my husband of 39 years. Can we just sin and then confess and .He forgives us and weaves that into the thread of our life long story? YES, through His grace and mercy. He already knows what we are going to do and has forgiven us, we help us, me, I by confessing it. It is so hard to get our heads wrapped around that kind of love. I don't me go out and sin on purpose just to sin, but don't we know we are sinning when we do it? Mostly yes I would say. Knowing His love is so boundless makes us want to NOT sin, but we just can't help it sometimes. I too have an emotional side that runs my mouth faster than my brain and it gets me in trouble so many times and I hurt people. I pray often for His help to just make me slow down and think before I talk. Listen, as they say,we have two ears and one mouth. I hoe that helps. You certainly helped me.

  • Frances

    Rationalize…something I do a lot. But then I remember that doesn’t matter because sin is sin.

  • Lauren W

    Ladies, if you could pray for me I would be grateful! Pray that God would bring us into a community/group of believers and that God would provide. Thank you so much!!

  • Hey sisters, one area that I am needing the Lord’s strength and guidance in is my health. Please pray for me that I will look to him for strength and wisdom! My health has been a battle lately.

    • Lucy

      Hi, Katie — so sorry to hear of your battle, sister. It can be harder to hear His voice through the noise of pain, sickness, fatigue, can't it? I'm joining with you in prayer, today and the days to come. I claim the promise of James 1:5 for you, wisdom given by Him liberally and without reproach. Also Ephesians 6:10, that we are strong in Him and in the power of His might, and Isaiah 40:29's promise of increased strength. And the clarity of the lamp for our feet and light for our path of Psalm 119:105. He has you in the palm of His hand, and I pray you find rest there.

  • From a past bible study, I have little red "S"s written over all the sins Paul mentions in Ephesians. When I was reading the verses this morning, each time I would come to a red S, I would wince–I wrote them down in a neat little list, thinking to myself, I can fix this. I know better….

    But then I felt helpless. I'll never get it right. I can't do all of these things God expects me to do.

    I realized I was missing the point. Because Christ. I don't have to do all these things. God doesn't expect me to be perfect. That's why He sent Jesus to die for me.

    At some point, you feel comfortable in your faith. You know the "rules," you know the right passages, you know what are sins and what is pleasing to God. But it never fails that I forget along the way that I can't even begin to do this whole Christian thing on my own. It's not up to me. I fail every single day, and will continue to until the day Christ comes back for us. I want to feel that freedom. I want to throw away the lists. God, help me to look to you every single moment for strength!

  • Kristin

    I often forget that God left us the Holy Spirit here on earth to give us strength and guidance. He's right here with me, helping me in my weakness and praying for me with groanings too deep for words. That's pretty awesome! God, help me to remember that I don't have to do life on my own, in my own strength.

    • Katie

      Hi Kristen! I was thinking the same thing after reading this! So glad we have Jesus to help us today! Thanks for sharing!

  • It was funny as I was reading this I was thinking, "Mm man this sounds like something someone on Cru staff would say!" it was so full of the passionate hope of walking free in the power of the Holy Spirit and knowing that God loves us and wants us to have that freedom. Of course, the bio revealed my hunch to be right. ;) I first heard these sweet truths my freshman year of college, from a Cru staff woman on my campus. "Walk in the light, as He is in the light." It changed the whole world for me! No longer was I slouching around, hiding from God, hoping I was loved but fearing that I wasn't. I was free! I learned to start "throwing my sins into light" (tell them to God and then someone else) as soon as they happened. Oh man, the amount of freedom that created in my life was astounding. Sin loves darkness – the best way to quash it is to throw it into light. I really needed that reminder today!

    From one Cru staff to another, Vivian – thank you!

  • Laura Loewen

    "God did not abandon us to live the Christian life in our own strength." YES.

    Today's devotional was a great reminder for me to dig deeper into God's Word. Throughout the day, there are so many things that vie for my attention, but I know the one thing that I will never regret is spending more time with the Lord.

    Isn't it awesome how God has ordained us to know Him, and then know Him more? That He gives us His love, power, strength and very Spirit living inside of us?

    He certainly has not left us. He equips us and sends us. He allows us the amazing privilege to abide in Him and walk with Him daily.

  • I know the author is not speaking about prayer here. However, this exposition reminds me of the 5 S’s summary (my paraphrase) borrowed from a teaching by the late Adrian Rogers:

    “Be submisive to God, sensitive to Holy Spirit, set apart from this world, standing firm against satan, sober (serious) about our Father’s Kingdom business.”

    Reference
    Adrian Rogers: Sermon Central-Victorious Prayer http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/victorious-prayer-adrian-rogers-sermon-on-prayer-answered-163526.asp?Page=8

    • LP

      Love this! Than you Drea

    • Lucy

      Thanks so much for passing along the 5 s's, Drea. I had not come across that before. It's great to have those memory prompts when we get caught in a stressful situation and need to quickly center ourselves back into who we are, Whose we are, and why we're here.

  • Valanne

    Thank you Vivian!

    Theses words, ” We invest time studying God’s Word in order to know Him, not just know about Him.” are my hearts desire. I don’t want all this head knowledge, I want a knowledge of my Lord that is relational and heart changing. When I really know what pleases my Lord, His gotten out of my head and into my heart.

    I confess I’m not 100% there (and probably won’t be until the day He calls me home), so I pray this sanctification process keeps happening daily, and that I keep my head out of the covers and soft to others observations of my walk.

    • Lucy

      I loved this, Valanne. Too often I approach my Bible study time with the mind of an info-junkie, a study geek, a perennial student. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it often prevents me from allowing my heart access to the larger teachings, the ones that really effect change in my nature. I join in your prayer, and ask Him to help me get out of my own way and just…. listen.

  • MissyCM

    My paraphrase in my notes of Eph.5:1 today goes like this "Imitate God like well-loved kids". We have a two year-old who is well-loved. My husband is her hero, and she wants to go wherever he goes (Out to the car to get a book we forgot? Sure! Hardware store to get caulk? Yeah!… as long as it´s with him, she´s in). She lights up when she´s around him.

    In light (hah) of our thoughts today, it makes me remember that our light comes from spending time in the Word… with Him. If we´re attempting to walk in the light, yet we´re not quite sure what is good, right, or true (Eph. 5:9), then something is off. The more we know His character, His will, the more we can make those love-based decisions (as Joanna said above) instead of fear-based decisions.

    • Lucy

      Great minds thinking alike, Missy — my notes say, "imitate like a child playing dress-up in an adored mom/dad's way-too-big clothes". The robes and crown of our adored Father may outsize us so much that we occasionally stumble under the weight, but like us with our earthly children, I picture Him smiling at our eager attempts.

  • The light metaphor used throughout scripture speaks to my heart with great intensity! The thing about light…darkness CANNOT exist in its presence. When we walk into a dark room and flip on the light, immediately darkness disappears. When we are filled with the light of Christ, darkness flees because it cannot exist in the presence of holy light. But too often I walk thru my life thinking I'm not good enough, I'm nothing special, or I'm basically a hot mess. I refuse to embrace the light which actually defines me as a child or God. I hide under Vivian's proverbial blanket. I crouch beneath a bushel basket. (Ok, I'm not that small, but "hide it under a bushel….No!") We are children of light. and like the awesome Downton reference from Kelly_Smith, we need to walk as children of light, children of the King! When we remember whose we are, we allow HIs light to shine in the dark world around us. It's very dark out there, and we personally know the light this world is desperate for. Throw off the blankets, ladies! Let them see HIM in you!

  • Praying for the courage to give my darkest places to the Lord.

  • At the beginning of 2015, I asked God to lay a word on my heart for the year. I was thinking along the lines of grace or peace or joy. Instead, I felt Him impress my heart with the word “light.” I thought, that’s not one of the “catch words” of our faith. I kept wondering about it, but so many times this year Scripture has revealed what a picture light is! And more than that, Jesus Himself is the Light of the world! Darkness surrounds us–one glance at the news and it’s overwhelmingly dark. The exciting thing is we don’t have to be in the darkness! We get to walk as children of light, as candles in the dark all around us! We don’t have to fumble around for matches or realize the lighter stick is depleted of fuel. We have the flame of the Holy Spirit within us! As Vivian said, He provides all we need to walk in the light. Light is such a theme in Scripture…praying today it will be the reality of my life through Jesus, lighting up the dark around me, and praying the same for all of you sisters.

    • Lucy

      Receiving your prayer of light. Thank you.

    • rachel marie

      light is my word this year too!

    • shereadstruth

      LOVE this, Lyle. So grateful you pointed out the light in today's scripture. Thanks for the encouragement!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • A PEACH IN ITALY

      God does this to me too at the beginning of every year :) My word was this year was "Change". Oh, there has been changes…some good, some difficult. But the biggest change is my relationship with Him. Its getting deeper, which allows me to shine the light he's placed in me, and be a light to others. To create light, heat is often involved. Although I don't like the heat (usually this means doing something outside of my introverted comfort zone with Him) God does not mean for me to hide my light. I often want to hide because I don't want attention and am comfortable in the background…but the Lord can't do anything with a light under a blanket. We have to bring light to darkness. I have to remember that people will see Him in me. If I can't shine my light, how will they know Jesus?

    • tina

      Lyle, thank you for your prayer over us….definitely claiming it..
      God bless you…xxx

    • HelenWalksinAwe

      Excellent reflection! My prayer intention for my yoga practice has been "Help me be light." for the past few years now. Every time I feel like maybe I should freshen up my sankalpa and switch to something new, I just can't shake it. The idea of becoming light captures so much!

  • Amen

  • Kelly_Smith

    I have been sick the last two days; in bed with little energy to do anything. In order to pass the time, I have reacquainted myself with the first two seasons of Downton Abby in preparation for the final season. Talk about position and practice! There is a gap between the aristocracy and the men and women of trade. A difference in their dress, their mannerisms, their speech. There are a few characters in the show who make the leap from "downstairs" to "upstairs." They either marry into the regal family or are discovered to be the heir of the estate. It is intriguing to watch their transformation from the first uncomfortable dinner with the Crawley family to confidently sitting down for tea as one of them a few years later. Eventually, slowly, over time, their position changes their practice. (Spoiler alert) They go from a common chauffeur to a cherished son; a distant cousin to a beloved heir.

    Our acceptance into the family of God is less dramatic than the Crawley's make it. God accepts us right away, just as we are, despite our practices. He is gracious as we begin to fully comprehend our position, which in turn, changes our practices. As we mature in Christ, we begin to lay aside our old ways as if shedding tattered garments. We put on the new self, garments of righteousness given to us through Jesus Christ. We can be confident as we sit down at the table with the family of Christ, knowing that we belong "upstairs."

    • Lyle

      Oh I love this application–as a Downton fan! So thankful that God doesn’t struggle to accept me into His family, even though apart from Christ, I most definitely don’t deserve a seat at His table. Such a picture of grace! And now that you have me thinking Downton, the dining room upstairs is so bright and filled with light. The servants’ dining room downstairs is dark and gloomy. Thanks for sharing, Kelly! Just prayed that you will feel much better today!

    • Lucy

      So sorry to hear that you've been feeling poorly, Kelly. Adding my prayers with Lyle's that you enjoy wellness, comfort and rest today. Thanks for the Downton analogy – a wonderful word picture.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Although I have yet to watch *gasp* (I know…….very behind the scene here!) it is a great analogy!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • tina

      Kelly, What a great analogy….. definitely a great show, and quite rightly, I think I would want to watch Downton if I were poorly…

      Praying you feel better soon my dear…Love, love, love, xxx

    • Kelly_Smith

      Thank you for the prayers! I am much better today. Which means no more time for Downton!

  • bellissimanh

    These are the verses that stuck out to me today…

    “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." (Eph. 4:26-27)

    Anger is only one letter short of danger. It's a powerful emotion, no? It's been said, "Don't fly into a rage unless you're prepared for a rough landing." It's not that anger is a sin… it's that we are angry, it's so hard NOT to sin.To quote Matthew Henry, "When anger was in Cain's heart, murder was not far off." When passion is on the throne, reason has gone out the window.

    I don't want to live like that. I want to be self (Spirit?)-controlled. I want to keep my emotions in check and act with wisdom. I want to be angry about the right things (not the petty junk that I tend to get worked up over)… and I want to deal with that anger in a way that's healthy and holy. I don't want to give the enemy any room to have power and influence in my life, or a way to drive a wedge in my relationships.

    Father, give me wisdom when it comes to this tricky emotion. Help me to cultivate anger over the right things, and let go of my anger over the stuff that doesn't matter. Let that emotion move me to act — immediately — as You direct. If it means shutting off the tv because what I see there is something I know would offend You, let me grab the remote right away. If it means removing myself from conversations that would make You ashamed of me, slap duct tape over my mouth. If it means confrontation with someone else, let me act immediately and speak the truth in love. Wreck my tendency to get upset over insignificant grievances and make my first instinct be to focus on what bothers You, instead of what bothers me. Teach me what it means to have righteous anger, and how to deal with that in a way that honors You, instead of being ruled by my emotions. I love You, Lord.

    • Shelia

      Your prayer spoke to my heart this morning.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      AMEN!!!!

    • Lucy

      Amen! I love "anger is only letter short of danger". What a great memorable short phrase for such a large issue.

    • [email protected]

      That verse jumped out at me as well. I believe it is there because there is righteous anger. The emotion is, at times, warranted. But the risk of reacting to the emotion unwisely (sinning) is great, hence the warning.

      I love your heart in this. Praying this right along with you!

    • melindawatters

      Praying this prayer with you today! Your words really helped to expand what was already being processed in my mind thank you.

    • Pam

      Thank you for your thoughts. I really got a lot out of your words.

  • So very thankful for His provision of salvation and His Spirit. Indescribable gifts!

    • shereadstruth

      Yesss.Indescribable indeed. Happy Wednesday, Joanne!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Candacejo

    I had a confessor….my middle son was notorious for ratting…on himself! Rather than wait on his brothers to share the "dirt", this blonde-haired, blue-eyed wonder would come running to Mom and spill all the beans. He wasn't telling on the others, he was telling on HIMSELF. I think he thought the punishment wouldn't be as severe if HE were the one confessing ♥

    Just as Vivian said, "the gospel of Christ gives us the freedom to throw off our old sinful nature and be renewed by the Spirit." There IS freedom in Christ Jesus; forgiveness and restoration await the "confessor". It is much easier to bring it to Him and "give it up" than to hold on to our mistakes and hide under the covers.

    So thankful for the Light of this glorious Gospel and the freedom that comes with it! Blessings! ♥

    • [email protected]

      I have a young confessor as well! I never thought of it as him seeking freedom. Sometimes, as his mama, there have been confessions I've not known what to do with as he is outing minor errors of little consequence. But I've tried mainly to see his heart rather than the severity of his sin. His heart is requesting freedom. That's a pretty great start! Now if we could just work on asking for permission rather than forgiveness… ;)

  • My husband that was, began seeing someone at work, at a very traumatic time in our lives….He tried to continue his role of father, husband, provider, etc, but there was always something not quite right,, thing was, in grief, we all operate differently…I guessed…Eventually, when too many things weren't adding up, and all was revealed, I was a wreck, and he, amazingly and interestingly was freed….typical man,.his secret was out, so now he was singing, in the shower, his outlook on life took a turn on the side of jolly, now, to sort out what and how best to do things,….Listen, so much so, that one day, whilst we were trying to sort things out, and he still lived at home,, he said to me…'I think I will go and see her, tell her what is going on here..!!! I tell you, only a 'freed man' could say that to a woman whose heart He had shattered into so many pieces, (some pieces are still being found today….) I need to say that was 9 years ago, and although, I am getting there, in the healing, all praise to God, I can assure you, I was not in the best place for a long, long time…

    I tell of this man, not because I need you to feel pity or sadness for me, but as an illustration of the freedom of coming clean, of coming out of the darkness and in to the light….forget that he had wronged us, forget that our hearts were broken, the children and I, but can you see the absolute freedom he got, felt in telling us what he had been doing…no more hiding, no more lies, in fact, I guess coming out in the open,turned his negative into a positive, for him, because his secret, was not a secret anymore…it was out in the open!

    I think we can all cover our heads with a blanket, be it lies that we are not hurting others in our wrongdoing, or shame of what we are doing or done, or fear of being found out, or anger, to disguise the fact of wrong doing…whichever way, we are hiding behind something, to cover ourselves, and until we come out in truth, hurtful to some though it may be, darkness will have power over you…us
    These words really spoke to me today..
    . The darkness may feel deceivingly comfortable to us for a time, but true healing, freedom, warmth, connection, and community only happen in the light of Christ….( I don't know that all of that with my ex, was done in the light of Christ.., but I guess even in the world, out in the light is better than in the darkness. )

    Thank you Lord God for the freedom, Grace, communion, blessing, healing that, walking in your LIGHT gives and brings…help me, guide me to walk in your LIGHT, Thank you that you are a forgiving and comforting God.., Lord I echo Vivien s words Thank you for your provision and perfect timing in all things, .Thank you Lord God for everything…Amen…

    Happy Wednesday, Sisters and blessings abundant being prayed for each of you….God is good…all the time….xxx

    • Jenn

      I know exactly what you are saying. I have a friend who is living a lie and I keep trying to explain to him that the truth will set him free. No matter how much he is going to hurt someone, at the end of the day admitting the truth will make you feel relief. It isn’t always easy, but it is always right. Prayers for you.

    • Candacejo

      And all the time God is good. ♥ thank you for sharing the Tough Stuff.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Thanks so much for sharing Tina….. love and huge huge hugs to you my dear!

    • churchmouse

      While your ex – husband may have done the happy dance of relief that his sin was exposed, he was not yet free. True, down deep freedom comes from repentance. And with that freedom comes the joy of forgiveness. The joy cannot come from relief but only from repentance. Then one can truly dance.

      • Lucy

        Nicely said, churchmouse! I was struck by Paul's repeated use of "futile" and "futility". Such a great word to sum up the hopelessness of striving for freedom in the absence of Him.

      • tina

        Churchmouse, what truth you speak, that is why I pray for them often, that they may know peace, but also that He will not be too hard on himself, we have met a few times since he left, and each time, he weeps.. ( yes, both of them, He married the woman)…I have been loved back to 'health' and healing by the Lord God, who knows all, who has collected my tears, watched over and sat with me when I thought I would hurt forever, through the loss of my daughter and then him walking out, I am a tad fragile in places and some days, life can slap me hard across the face, but it's okay, I have come this far, by God's grace, what's another mile….with God …right..
        Thank you for your love and kind words churchmouse..I am so blessed to walk with you, through these pages..xxx

    • lynne

      Thanks Tina for sharing!! My ex did the same to me and I can fully relate. It was hard being a single mom and I believe that my 19 year old daughter is still affected by his decision. She walks in darkness. It's sad how someone else's choices can affect us years later. I have since remarried and have 5 more beautiful children. 7 in all. I will be praying for you!! Your words of encouragement bless me many times. thanks for sharing and being a light in the midst of this dark world.

      • tina

        Lynne, ALL glory to God…I could not have done this journey on my own….darkness could so easily have been my friend…but God…
        Lynne, I will be praying for your daughter, to see the light, and that the chains that bind her in darkness be broken, in the MIGHTY name of Jesus….
        Warms my heart to her that you have your hands full….with joy and beauty….I pray God continue to bless you…much love and thank you for your encouragement and love…xx

    • Karen

      I understand exactly what you are describing and expressed so truthfully. The pain of a betrayal that shatters us as women and mothers. Thank you for also expressing the truth that it is not healed instantaneously and may take many seasons. I still am finding shattered pieces! I spent a few days at our local beach this summer just shifting through all the different size pebbles and stones looking for sea glass. The Holy Spirit whispering that the beautiful pieces of sea glass represented my pain and loss. It took seasons of being tossed around by the very waves that would make it so precious and beautiful.I am learning to fix my eyes on The One who understands especially the darts of resentment that can hit and explode at the most random times…….the one who appeared "free" while you were suffering from the very actions that also brought him pleasure…….is not free at all but living with a deceived mind that is/will feed on ashes. Keep pressing in to the love,truth,compassion and wisdom that Jesus offers us…….and I will too!

      • tina

        Karen, I love the seaside, I love just being by the sea….it must be that my Ghanaian name translated means..water baby..actually more child of the river….
        The journey here has been rocky, but God has for sure walked alongside, even when I have felt alone and lost…and I know and believe He has you, my sister, me, and all who walk this journey, in His loving arms…. moulding us in truth, compassion, love and wisdom..
        Will keep you in my prayers Karen…God be with you…Blessings xxx

      • Lucy

        Your words spoke to my spirit, Karen. Thank you for being a living example of walking out that recovery journey. "…learning to fix my eyes on The One who understands especially the darts of resentment…" How wonderful a reminder that He does understand, does not expect us to just get it all in one dose, and any feeling if condemnation is not from Him, but from the enemy. God bless you.

    • shereadstruth

      Tina, thank you so much for these honest and heartfelt words. So grateful for the way God's fingerprints are all over your story, and that you continually seek opportunities to proclaim His glory. Love to you, dear friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Andrea

      Tina,

      Praying for & with you this morning! Hope these few scriptures encourages you and others. (Psalm 30:5b, 1 Peter 1:5-9, Galatians 6:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:13).

      • tina

        Andrea, thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement…funny enough, this morning as I was writing I did add the psalm, but took it out as I thought it would be out of context…the other verses are so spot on, in terms of building me up…Thank you…
        Blessings…xx

    • HelenWalksinAwe

      Praying for you today, Tina, that you feel some of the shattered pieces of yourself that you describe picked up off the ground, and lovingly handed back to you with some glue and a band-aid. Lots of hugs! And in awe of the generous way you speak of your ex and the other lady. You are truly modeling Christian kindness. hugs hugs hugs!

  • I always have a physical reaction before I sin; my chest is tight and there is a deep pit of dread in my stomach. Everything about it screams “don’t do this” but often times I stubbornly convince myself to ignore those feels and that the instant gratification will stick around, making the decision, in the end, worth it. Wrong! It might be easier to go down this road, but I find that when I make the right choice, the Godly choice, I am left with a clear heart and a peaceful mind. When I focus on love based decisions instead of fear based decisions, I am always lighthearted. Lord, I ask that you re-create me new today. Please grant me the grace to think more like Jesus and even though the right choices may be the hardest ones, to listen to the Holy Spirit when it guides me onto a path surrounded by light. I do not want to walk in darkness anymore.

    • Nancy

      Love your prayer, Joanna. "Re-create me new today" is the perfect way to start!

    • tina

      Yes Joanna, praying your prayer, if I may, right alongside you…..Blessings..xxx

  • Alexis C.

    Ephesians 4:22 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; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
    Each day a new chance to live these verses. I especially like 23–to be made new in the attitude of your minds. Dear Father please help me to daily, 24/7, be made new in my attitude.

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