Expectations of Resting to Walk - Get off the Hamster Wheel

Bob Murray
Due to many years of a “frustrated walk,” anytime I now hear about the walk of a Believer/member of the Body of Christ, I have to go back and frame that walk as it is summarized in the overall teaching of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.  
Like so many of the apostle’s letters, this epistle falls into two sections, a doctrinal and a practical. The doctrinal section (chapters 1 to 3) is concerned mainly with the great truths/facts of the redemption which God has accomplished in Christ for/in the Body of Christ. The practical section (chapters 4 to 6), prefaced by the doctrinal, then goes on to present the expectations that members of the Body of Christ can/should have regarding their lives in Christ (in rested belief of the truths taught in 1-3). Taking it a little further to some “keywords” in Ephesians we find:
Our Position in Christ—
“SIT” (2:6) •Our Life in the World
“WALK” (4:1) •Our Attitude to the Enemy
“STAND” (6:11)
Matt’s message this past Sunday “hung out” in Ephesians 4 and dealt with the Body of Christ and how the “walk” of each member of the Body is vital to the working of the Body.  He particularly wound up dealing with:
Ephesians 4:22-24 “22 that you put off concerning the former way of life of the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
In these verses, Matt addressed how members of the Body of Christ should set aside the old and embrace the new, which involved clothing ourselves in Christ and setting our minds, accordingly.  To me, these dealt with the walk of members of the Body of Christ….and thus my brief overview of the entire instruction.
If we are to rightly understand the walk of a believer/member of the Body of Christ, we must first always remember that this begins/continues with their rest (sit) in the Truth regarding their position in Christ (who they are in Christ).  As practical evidence of this, looking at the instruction in Ephesians 4:22-24 we can outline some of the “actions” of the walk as follows:
  1. Verse 22 - Put off the former way of life of the old man, knowing that it is corrupt due to deceitful lusts.
  2. Verse 24 – Put on the new man, knowing it is created by God in righteousness and true holiness.
But don’t miss that right in the middle of these two verses is verse 23, which instructs “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind” which is a direct reference to rested belief of the truths/doctrines concerning the believer/member of the Body of Christ in Ephesians Chapters 1-3. When the mind is renewed in the truths of our position in Christ, the walk is the result. The walk (put off & put on) happens from the overflow of being renewed in your mind with rested belief in the truths of God’s Word concerning who we are “in Christ” and the resulting expectation that we should have as to our walk “in Christ.”  And that expectation is what God will produce from our rest (Ephesians 2:10).
Apart from rest in the truth, the doctrines of who we are in the Body of Christ, we are trying to “do it ourselves” and the result is like being on a big hamster wheel – lots of activity but going nowhere.  You just get tired!
And none of this happens apart from the individual member of the Body of Christ fulfilling the instruction of the Apostle Paul to his son-in-the-faith, Timothy, and to us, that believers should: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2nd Timothy 2:15.  
As a result of studying the Word, rightly divided, you will rest to walk and avoid the hamster wheel of trying to “do” before understanding how to “be” (knowing who you are).

1 Comment

Kale - April 22nd, 2021 at 10:36am