Ephesians 4:17 "this I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds"
Have you ever spoken to someone who was there physically, but you knew that they weren’t there mentally? Have you ever been someplace physically, but your thoughts were someplace else far away? Have you ever spoken to someone who was so distracted, you knew you had about ten seconds to share your story and they were done? All these scenarios describe someone who is “mesmerized”…in a stupor, a trance, their thinking is dominated and controlled by something else.
The word mesmerize comes from a man named Franz Anton Mesmer. He was one of the forerunners who developed hypnosis by bring people under a “spell”. This is where the phrase, “they were mesmerized” comes from. People who were mesmerized were totally being dominated by the suggestions and commands of somebody else.
In Ephesians 4:17, Paul talks about "other Gentiles", or non-believers that had no focus, couldn't concentrate on someone, or something, always distracted in their mind. He used the word "vanity" of the their mind, which means transient or constantly moving around, can't stay or live in one place, or lasting or staying only a short time. This describes most of our society today. They get mesmerized by all their devices, machines, electronics, systems and a constant flow of messages, advertisements, enticements, and information. They pride themselves as being “multi-taskers”, spinning several “plates in the air” all at once.
On the contrary, the strength of a laser is that it concentrates all of its energy into one little pin size area. Paul is calling all of us to focus, like a laser, on the person in front of us, on the things that God has called us to do, on our specific assignment, to “stay in our lane”. Whether we are talking with the neighbor next door, or carrying out a vision to win a city through Christ, we need to avoid the trap of being mesmerized by things that are designed to distract us and take us off course. We need to stay focused to the very end of the conversation, or the assignment or the job, or task, or project.
This Thanksgiving, take time to talk with someone and really listen with your heart, be present to them. For the remainder of this year, get back on track if you have found yourself off course and get a head start on next year. Sorry Mr. Mesmer, our minds are fixed on God!