Originally published Wednesday, 26 August 2015.
I went in praying, but I left repenting.
It was supposed to be a time of joy, connectedness and unity, but everything went wrong. My heart didn't want to align with God. It didn't want to follow his marching orders, and instead marched to it's own beat: a beat of I have to figure this out, I have to work to get right with God, I have to be better than myself and I have to stop sinning.
Sure, God does tell us to put off our old self, which is "being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Eph. 4:22-24
There is a taking off of the stinky, the putrid and the worn out shirt of self and a putting on of the new, sparkly, purposeful and intentional dress of holiness and righteousness.
Sounds amazing right?
Certainly, I knew what I wanted to wear, but somehow it seemed like that new dress was out of my price range. It was out of my reach. It wasn't so easy to obtain.
My ears became so focused on my bad self-talk, that I couldn't hear God talk. His small promptings passed right over my shoulder.
I was so so focused on, "I have got to figure out the mess than I am, God" rather than the "Come with me, Kelly, I have something for you."
We speak words of condemnation,
but God stands ready to hand out words of consolation.
When we get to the end of our self, we get to the start of God - and that is what happened to me.
It's not just about not sinning - about removing the old stink and putting on the new outfit - but it's about the renewal of the mind. Only then, can we walk forward in the new.
We renew our mind by:
Bringing it to the altar of transformation, which is prayer.
Immersing it in the irrevocable truth of God's Word.
Knowing that the one in us is greater than the world around us.
Making it new in the promises of God.
Finding a space with God when we feel like we have no space for him.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Jo. 15:5
I humbled myself.
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex. 33:14
God rests my soul, as I find rest in him.
Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Ps. 55:2
As I hand my burdens over, God hands me his hand that holds me upright.
The answer to putting on the shiny dress of new self is giving God the first chance to suffocate the old. Then, we leave clothed in promised robes of righteousness and holiness.