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Darlene

Ephesians 3:4

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I have been in the spiritual battle of my life this past month or so. Ever since 'whatever' interrupted this study a while ago, things have gone from bad to worse. No matter how much I felt I needed to continue this, there was just something that stopped me.

 

I have alot going on in my life (as we all do) and God is doing a work, and the enemy is pulling out all stops and the attacks have been immense. I look back to when I first started this, and moreso at my site, there was one or two people who God burdened to pray over me and the work I was willing to do with the Ephesians study because they could 'see' the battle that would ensue. I understood what they were talking about, but I didn't comprehend how real it would get.

 

This morning, things came to a head spiritually. God has put someone in my life who has far more experience with warring on a spiritual level than I do. I called them because things were spiraling fast, and they prayed for me.

 

I'm pretty sure that I shared this before, but I'll mention it again because it has bearing on me even writing this post...

 

A couple of months ago when my mother suggested that I read Ephesians, she had also suggested that I seek through His Word and to find a scripture that I could hang on to in the days, weeks, and months ahead. She had recently given me a new bible (my dogs had chewed my other one up) and it was one that she had started to use for her own personal study. As I began flipping through the pages, asking the Lord to give me the scripture that would be the banner over my life and my children's life, I stopped at a page that she had highlighted quite extensively and began to read. I mentioned to the Lord how special it would be for me to find a scripture that had meant something to her, so when I read the following scripture, and knew in my heart that it was mine, it was doubly meaningful because it was also one that had special meaning to my mom.

 

That scripture, which I'm sure we all know is found in Joshua 24. It is when Joshua assembled the tribes of Israel at Shechem to call them to a renewal of the covenent with God. It was his final, official act as the Lord's servant, mediator of the Lord's rule over his people. He was following the example of Moses, whose final official act was also a call to renew the covenent between God and His people, found in the book of Deuteronomy.

 

In particular:

 

14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

 

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

 

17For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

 

18And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

 

19And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

 

20If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

 

21And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

 

22And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

 

23Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

 

24And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

 

25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

 

26And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

 

27And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

 

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".

 

That was the scripture I picked that day, and I went out looking over my property to find a rock which would bear witness to that decision and covenant I made with the Lord that day. As I walked through one of my creek beds, my eye was drawn to a rock that was triangular in shape that had a huge crack going up the center. When I tried to break the rock at the crack in the center, it would not break. I began to sense that triangular rock represented the Holy Trinity...Father, Son, Holy Spirit. That crack was my broken life, sealed, bound, held together, kept complete and made strong by our Triune Father. So, I picked up that rock, waked to the front of my house, tried to find an oak tree (this was in the fall after all the leaves had fallen) and finally planted it standing up, against a tree at the end of my porch.

 

Since that time, I've pretty much forgotten about that rock sitting out there. As winter has come, snows came and gone, my life, since I started this Ephesians study began to become a mess.

 

This morning, it came to a head, and the Living God over Israel and His gentile people has broken the bonds that were seeking to destroy.

 

I went outside, stood in front of that tree, crying and saying to the Lord our God, "I know absolutely nothing at this moment other than some how, some way, me and MY house will serve the Living God...there is no way I can do that on my own so You are going to have to accomplish that which I cannot..."

 

His peace began to flood my soul with a depth I've not experienced in a while.

 

I walked in this house, sat down at this computer and have written the above right now.

 

Some how, some way, God is going to finish this Ephesians study. If y'all aren't really interested in me sharing it here, that's ok, it sure doesn't hurt my feelings. I feel a drive and a need to do it for myself, and if He wants me to do it here online, then so be it, I have no qualms about that. But His Word is alive and I need it to live. I want to know Him, I want to grow closer to Him and the only way I know how to do that is through His Word and through prayer.

 

And that's all I know right now.

 

I left off at Ephesians 3:3...I'm only going to do one verse today because the day is late and I need to get some things done around here...to recap from the beginning of Chapter 3, His Word states:

 

1. For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

 

2. (If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

 

3. How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words;

 

For today, picking up at verse 4:

 

4. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ,

 

Holy Father, may we all grow in our understanding and knowledge of the mystery of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Calvin writes in his commentary, "By attending to which, ye may understand, πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε ἀναγινώσκοντες νοὢσαι. Erasmus renders it, “from which things, when ye read, ye may understand.” But to translate ἀναγινώσκειν τι as signifying to read is, I think, at variance with Greek syntax. I leave it as a subject of consideration, whether it does not rather signify to attend. The participle would then be connected with the preposition πρὸς, in the commencement of the verse, and the clause would run thus, to which when ye attend, ye may understand If, however, by viewing the verb ἀναγινώσκοντες, as disjoined from the preposition, you make it signify reading, the meaning will still be, “by reading you may understand according to what I have written;” taking the phrase πρὸς ὃ, to which, as equivalent to καθ ᾿ ὃ, according to which; but I suggest this merely as a doubtful conjecture.

 

If we adopt the view which is almost universally approved, that the apostle had formerly written to the Ephesians, this is not the only Epistle which we have lost. And yet there is no room for the sneers of the ungodly, as if the Scriptures had been mutilated, or in any part had become imperfect. If we duly consider Paul’s earnestness, — his watchfulness and care, — his zeal and fervor, — his kindness and readiness in assisting brethren, — we shall be led to regard it as highly probable that he would write many epistles, both of a public and private nature, to various places. Those which the Lord judged to be necessary for his church have been selected by his providence for everlasting remembrance. Let us rest assured, that what is left is enough for us, and that the smallness of the remaining number is not the result of accident; but that the body of Scripture, which is in our possession, has been adjusted by the wonderful counsel of God.

 

My knowledge. The frequent mention of this point shews the necessity that the calling of ministers should be firmly believed both by themselves and by their people. But Paul looks more to others than to himself. He had everywhere indeed given great offense by preaching the gospel indiscriminately to Jews and Gentiles, but his solicitude was not chiefly on his own account. There were not a few who, overwhelmed by the slanders of wicked men, began to doubt of his apostleship, and whose faith was consequently shaken. It was this that induced him so frequently to remind the Ephesians that he knew the will and command of God who called him to the office. — In the mystery of Christ,

 

Now this is very interesting to me. Part of what has been going on in my life is this 'knowledge' and belief of God's leading in my life. I have been under heavy accusation, condemnation, judgment from others, as to these major changes in my life. It has brought me to a point of utter confusion that was growing into me questioning myself, my Lord and was eventually leading me into hopelessness where I was about to give up.

 

That point of giving up is when God chose to rage with a vengence into my heart and my mind, commanding and defying all that was not from Him to cease. I don't have any answers at the moment, but I do have His peace once again. I am completely dependent on Him and I have to trust that He will lead the way.

 

Clarke comments, "Whereby, when ye read] When ye refer back to them.

 

Ye may understand my knowledge] Ye may see what God has given me to know concerning what has been hitherto a mystery - the calling of the Gentiles, and the breaking down the middle wall between them and the Jews, so as to make both one spiritual body, and on the same conditions. "

 

Wesley had no commentary on this verse.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

May Your perfect will be done...may You guard it, protect it, flourish it.

 

May the words that I write, be the words YOU would have me write, and may You bring this to a conclusion that honors and glorifys You.

 

In Jesus Name,

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Darlene, all He has ever asked us is to be a vessel. He knows that we can not accomplish HIS work we are just a vessel that HE works through to accomplish HIS task.

 

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

 

 

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Thank you so much for this study.

 

I think the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways...

 

In a lot of respects, I'm at a turning point in my life, too, and could have written something like this myself:

 

Quote:
Now this is very interesting to me. Part of what has been going on in my life is this 'knowledge' and belief of God's leading in my life. I have been under heavy accusation, condemnation, judgment from others, as to these major changes in my life. It has brought me to a point of utter confusion that was growing into me questioning myself, my Lord and was eventually leading me into hopelessness where I was about to give up.

 

That point of giving up is when God chose to rage with a vengence into my heart and my mind, commanding and defying all that was not from Him to cease. I don't have any answers at the moment, but I do have His peace once again. I am completely dependent on Him and I have to trust that He will lead the way.

 

Thank you so much for the reminder; after all, if He is for us, who can stand against us?

 

I, too, have been waiting on a clear leading from the Lord; I'm not good at waiting on HIS timing...

 

I don't know if you've ever heard "Trust His Heart" by Babbie Mason; it's available for download on I Tunes as a single. I just did a search for the lyrics; I hope you find them as comforting as I have:

 

Quote:
Verse 1 All things work for our good though sometimes we don't see how they could. Struggles that break our hearts in two sometimes blinded to the truth. Our Father knows what best for us he ways are not our own. So when your pathway grows dim and you just don't see him remember your never alone.

Chorus God is to wise to be mistaken God is to good to be unkind. So when you don't understand when you don't his plan when you can't trace his hand trust his heart, trust his heart. (He alone is faithful and true he alone knows what is best for you).

Verse 2 He's see the master plan and he hold our future in his hand so don't live as those who have no hope for our hope is found in him. We see the presently clearly but he see the 1st and the last and like a tapestry he's weaving you and me to someday be just like him Ohhh.

 

((((Darlene))))

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Thanks Abi...that was sweet of you to share...

 

I had never heard that song before so I went over to YouTube and pulled it up and listened to it...it was very touching...

 

I'm a heart girl...I hafta work at not operating from that position, so I 'got it' in the stanza where it said, "God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don't understand, when you don't know His plan, when you can't trace His hand, trust His heart".

 

I understand how the heart works, and I know His heart is precious.

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That's a really powerful testimony and scripture to stand on. It's a 'line in the dirt' for us to trust Him and His ways...and His great Heart for each of us personally. Thanks for sharing.

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beautiful song.Something i needed to be reminded of.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

hoping in Him,

blessings,

autumn

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