Ephesians 4:17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. 19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 That is not the way you learned Christ! 21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
The part that jumps out at me this morning is the phrase “hardness of heart”. I’m afflicted with hardness of heart when I resist the promptings of the Holy Spirit to submit to Jesus’ way of life. The more I resist the Lord, the more difficult it becomes to hear the Spirit’s voice – until I can hardly hear it at all. Where does this leave me? It leaves me “alienated from the life of God” (v.18).
There have definitely been times in life when I’ve stubbornly resisted the leading of the Holy Spirit. I’ve tended to do so when I’ve convinced myself that following the Spirit’s prompting would prevent me from experiencing life to the fullest – that I’d be “missing out” on something. The truth is that sin isn’t life. It’s actually death masquerading as life. Which leads me to an important question:
Where in my life might I be resisting the prompting of the Spirit?
Lord Jesus, give us spiritual ears to hear the Spirit’s leading – and the grace to submit in obedience. Amen.