Our Former Ignorance

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” (Ephesians 4:30-31 NLT)

Ignorance, as I’ve often said, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think of looking for a coin when it is pitch black, so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face. No one is going to shame you for not being able to find it.

That’s how ignorance works. Yet, when the light of Christ’s life and love fill our lives, the things we couldn’t see before, because of the darkness of our heart and soul, now become crystal clear in the light of the Spirit’s instruction. And even as we walk with the Lord, there are ways of thinking and acting that are caused by our ignorance of the words and ways of the Lord.

It takes time to learn, not only what the Bible teaches, but how to apply what we’re learning to our new life in Christ. There are things of which each of us will remain ignorant as long as we’re in this life, and there’s no shame in that, it’s simply a fact of life. Problems occur when we ridicule or judge others for not knowing something that we didn’t know either when we first began our walk with Jesus.

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

That’s when we bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit – when we forget our former ignorance and, instead, criticize a brother or sister who is new to the faith, rather than encouraging them by letting them know we had to deal with the same issues when we were just starting our faith journey.

A website I’ve discovered that I really enjoy and appreciate is called Glimpses of Infinity by Ray Majoran. (GlimpseOfInfinity.com). Ray features a photo each day and share’s a brief prayer. I’ve come to look forward, not only to the beautiful photographs, but his thoughtful and challenging prayers. His prayer was the inspiration for this post when he prayed: “As obedient children, may we not be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance, but as You who called us is holy, we also must be holy in all our conduct (1 Peter 1:14-15). Thank you for being so gracious as we work to do this.”

Any progress we’ve made as a child of God is by grace alone. God, in His mercy and kindness, walks with us each step of our journey as His child, thus, we never – ever – have an excuse for not being patient, kind, loving, and helpful to our brothers and sisters who are struggling to find their way. Our attitude must always be, “there but for the grace of God go I.”

I readily admit that I’m ignorant of a lot of things that the Lord teaches in His Word. I read, study and pray, but it seems the revelation of His Spirit is silent. Yes, of course, I listen to or read other’s insights, but I rarely assume their position as my own until the Spirit confirms the truth of what they teach, in my own heart and mind.

The Lord continues to encourage me to walk in the light He has given me, realizing He will guide, equip, provide, and instruct me and you, as His followers, at every juncture of our journey. It’s critical that we understand that He has a very good reason for walking with us step by step, not mile by mile. For one, it would overwhelm us. He tends to point out one thing at a time for us to “conquer” before He has us move to the next step.

A young man, new in His walk with Jesus, came to me one day almost in tears. He was frustrated with himself because he couldn’t seem to stop using inappropriate language. I said to him, “Praise the Lord!” A little taken aback, he said: “What do you mean ‘Praise the Lord?’ I shouldn’t be using this kind of language.” To which I respond, “When you weren’t walking with the Lord, did it ever bother you.” “No.” he said. Then I told him, “I’m not excited about your language, I’m excited that the Lord has finally enabled you to recognize your need to do something about it.”

Our former ignorance often blinds us to our need for change in our walk with the Lord until He turns on the light of His Spirit’s willingness to enable us to do something positive about it. That’s always worthy of praise for our strong and understanding Savior.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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