It’s confession time. New scares me . Whether it involves new clothes, a new haircut, a new house, new job or a new way of doing something, new scares me. New scares me because it involves change.
I resist change. Often new clothes sit in the drawer with tags in place for months. My favorite sweater is (don’t tell anyone) at least 15 years old.
Change is uncomfortable. Change requires adjustment. Change is scary.
Even if the old was less then perfect – maybe even painful at least it is predictable.
Old shoes feel better then new shoes. The effort of breaking them in; of getting them to feel right; of being able to walk or even dance with joy in them is just too much work.
The last few years have been ones of change . Everything about our lives- vocationally, relationally, spiritually & locationally changed.
Last summer we moved from our home of 35 years to a new house in the city. Six months later that new house is now truly a home. The process was however stressful. It required belief & trust that God was in the middle of it all.
The adjustment to a new neighbourhood, new house, new kitchen, new appliances has been challenging to say the least. The hundreds (I exaggerate) of decisions that had to be made overwhelmed me.
There were lots of days when new got to be very old . I wanted to stop the train & go back to where I was & how I did life in the old setting.
Locational changes whether across the street or around the world are given time relatively easy to adjust to.
Not so with relational , vocational or spiritual changes. They are more challenging .
They involve a change of identity.
• what we do
• what we say
• how others see us
• how we see ourselves
They involve massive changes in how we do life.
Paul addresses the issue of change in identity .
Throw off your old evil nature. Instead there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes . You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness- righteous, holy, truthful. So……….
(Eph 4: 22-25)
Chapters 1-3 of Ephesians are so encouraging. They paint this wonderful picture of God, myself & our relationship.
I long for these chapters to be true.
Then I read chapter 4. My heart sinks!
I read verse 21 & 22 .
Since you have heard all about him & have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature & your former way of life which is rotten through & through, full of lust & deception.
I had hope for a relationship where I was loved, chosen & adopted . I hoped for a relationship that gave me purpose, worth, value & dignity.
I feel like I am right back to religion.
I’m back to a religion where I have to earn God’s approval & a place in his family.
What Just Happened?
I missed understanding my Inheritance .
I missed understanding – the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty that raised Christ from the dead.
God’s Power Enables Me To Be Like Him
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good but that God will make us good because He loves us.
The Reality is That I Am a New Person
My new nature– created in God’s likeness is
- Righteous– it does what Jesus would do
- Holy– I get to do things for Jesus
- True– Who I believe, trust & say I am is who I am
There Is A Battle.
There is a battle in my head. My thoughts & emotions are determining my behavior.
Paul says there must be a spiritual renewal of my thoughts, attitudes & behaviors .
There must be renewal from the inside out.
My Heart must be Flooded With Light
God’s Spirit informs my spirit that I am
- Loved, Chosen & Adopted
- Indwelled & Empowered
- His Beloved Child
When My Heart Is flooded with light
- My Spirit can inform my Soul
- My Heart can rule my Head
Seasons of Change
Are you in a season of change?
Have you been dynamited out of a familiar & comfortable situation?
Have you suddenly been uprooted & going in a direction you never saw coming?
Do your locational, vocational, relational & spiritual anchors feel very unstable?
How do you operate in a season of change ?
How do you live in faith instead of fear?
Fingerprints & Anchors
You find fingerprints & anchors.
You look back to those times where God did meet you.
You remember those times when you experienced His presence & power . You remember those times when you heard his voice.
You take those fingerprints & anchor them to the promises of Scripture.
The fingerprints of his touch make the Word of God real for you on the inside.
Anchor the experiences to verses such as:
- I will never leave you or forsake you (Jos. 1:5).
- I have plans for you; plans to prosper you & not to harm you; plans to give you a hope & a future. (Jer 29:11)
When Belief Becomes Trust
I Walk In Faith Not Fear
How About You?
- What kind of ‘new’ causes to you to panic?
- How to you respond?
- In past times of scary new where did you see the fingerprints of God?
- What Scriptures anchor you?
- Speak out those anchors to defeat fear.
- What faith choices is He asking you to make today?