Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let Go If You Want To Grow

                Do you realize that you are a miracle? If you are a Christian, you are a miracle of creation. Charles Spurgeon said, “My brethren, it was more difficult, if such terms are ever applicable to Omnipotence, it was more difficult to create a Christian than to create a world.  What was there to begin with when God made the world?  There was nothing; but nothing could not stand in God's way - it was at least passive.  But, my brethren, in our hearts, while there was nothing that could help God, there was much that could and did oppose him.  Our stubborn wills, our deep prejudices, our ingrained love of iniquity, all these, great God, opposed thee, and aimed at thwarting thy designs … Yes, great God, it was great to make a world, but greater to create a new creature in Jesus Christ." We are walking miracles.

                This morning as I was praying I was crying out to God to help with an area of my life. You see, I have been experiencing this pull, this tugging at my heart to go deeper with God. It is like He is pulling at a string in my heart to let go of certain things, attitudes and choices I am making and to totally immerse myself in Him. I desire to do this; I cry out to Him and ask Him to help me become completely and utterly dedicated to Him. Not only in my thoughts, but in my actions, words, what I do, and how I do things. I want to be so immersed in Christ that I pretty much no longer exist. I want Jesus to be for me, and me to be no longer. But to go that next step the Lord is showing me areas that I need to let go of. I have tried this before, and failed miserably. I have put these areas off, and then in a few short days picked them back up again. It seems to be a constant rollercoaster of stopping and starting again with me. I get frustrated with myself, because I know that the Lord is calling me to a deeper relationship, and I want that, but these old things keep coming up and keeping me down.
                As I poured out my frustrations to the Lord this morning, I believe this is what He spoke to me. “It’s those old things we are hanging onto that keep us from moving, from growing. Old habits, old ways, old thoughts, old attitudes; until we free ourselves from them they will follow us like a shadow and hold us back. They will block out the Son and keep us from growing or going any farther.” As I read these words I was reminded of something that Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
            
    “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.”
                Paul tells us that if we are in Christ then we are new creations, we are walking miracles. The fact that God was able to take us from our lives of sin and death and transport us into the light of His gospel of grace is a miracle in and of itself. My salvation was a work of God, a working of His Spirit in my heart so that He could become my one and only God. His love for me was so passionate that He was willing to die and to be buried in darkness for three days so that I would be able to live a new life in Him. When Paul writes “he is a new creation” he is telling us that we were previously non-existent. We were dead, not living. But then Christ comes along and says, “Be Saved!” and we are made new. Who we were before begins to take on a new character, we begin to change in the spirit and become like Christ.
                My salvation is a creative act of God. I was dead, and I was walking around in the darkness, a bleak and lonely darkness. But then God commanded the light to shine, just as He did on the first day of Creation and spoke, “Let there be light”, and there was light in my life. I was lifeless and without form (Genesis 1:2-3) until God spoke into my life. It was then that the miracle of salvation began to grow and I became a new creation. This also means that old things have passed away. Which, much to my displeasure is not always the case; daily I find that I struggle with some of these old attitudes, old thoughts and old habits. I still cannot seem to be free completely from the shadow of these things. Paul speaks to us that these old things have passed away- meaning that they are gone. When I looked up the phrase Paul used, I found that these old things that have passed away mean that we have moved forward. We have been carried past these things. God has chosen you, and I and He has propelled us to move on in our walks toward Him.

           
     These tugs and pulls that I am experiencing in my heart lately are His way of moving me past these old things that I am still holding onto. Our Father in heaven does not want us living in the past patterns of our life. He desires to make us new, to begin in us a fresh work that will grow into His glory and for our good. He wants us to take on a new complexion, to wipe off all the cosmetics of our old lives. He does not look at us and see the old; He looks at us and sees the completed work of His new creation. He is asking us to lay down all that is old and to pick up the new.
                We all have old habits, old thoughts, and old ways about us. Our old man rears his ugly head from time to time, and we are to put him off and embrace the new creation that God has worked in our hearts. Our old ways will keep us down; they will hold us back from embracing all that God has prepared for us. Sooner or later we have to make a choice, we have to let go of these old ways and live, or we can hold onto them and wither away back into the darkness from which we came.

                Paul writes in Ephesians 4:22-24 that we are to “put off concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” We are to put off, meaning we are to lay aside, these old ways we still cling to and we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. We are to allow God to do His work of creation in us and allow Him to transform us, and we must put on Christ. We have to let go if we want to grow. It is as simple as that.

                If you desire a deeper, more intimate walk with Christ, then may we cast off the things of the old man and embrace the new creative work that God wants to work in each of us. We are miracles; we are works of God for His glory. Let us walk in that and put away the old ways we still hold onto. It is the only way we will ever grow in our faith and in our walks with Christ. May His word be planted in your hearts today, and may His glory and His grace give you the strength to let go and to begin growing. In Jesus Name, to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen and Amen.