Monday, November 12, 2012

The Changed Life

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

2 Corinthians 5:17

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As a Christian I have read this scripture countless times and heard it quoted countless more.  The promise of a changed life, a new life.  The promise of my old life “passed away.”  That it has no power over me anymore.

Well, I certainly have had my share of realizing and being a “new creation”.  However I also find there remains a “but. . . “.  Not all in my life is new.  There lingers in places, “old things” that give me fits, at times and I fall down.   There continue to be battles in which the “old life” gets the upper hand and life gets tuff and overwhelming.  I get blindsided or ambushed and become an emotional wreck, paralyzed with fear and doubts.

I feel helpless, lost.  Wondering what has happened to my faith and trust and love for my Lord?  Why have they failed me?

I have been recently going threw just such battles.  I haven’t wanted to wage the war of life if it meant getting hurt or not feeling safe.  The losses in my life brought me to the place of giving up, but the Lord came to my rescue.

I was excited at first, but I told the Lord I didn’t ever want to go threw the agonies of loss ever again.  What I didn’t realize was that I had started to build a life with the Lord that was safe, but on my own terms.  Keep close to family and have only a few friends, but don’t let them get too close.  I made a man cave to go to when the day was done and then get lost in mindless TV.

But how was that “my old life”?  What was my old way of thinking? My old way of faith? Where did it come from and what did it look like now in my faith walk with my Lord?

For me it came in all those countless sayings my mom taught me that I took as truth.  After all the “Big people” like mom and dad a favorite uncle and the church and the corner cop are “God speaking” right?

“Children are seen and not heard.”

“Only speak when spoken to.”

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

“Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about.”

“Stop arguing or fighting.””

“Turn the other cheek.”

“Your to sensitive”

“Be tuff, be a man.”

Getting spankings for getting  angry or teased if my feelings were hurt.

Just to name a few.

Then came puberty and all of those sexual feelings as a man and the church and bible telling me they are bad.

None of that made me feel safe or loved.  It made me feel bad and condemned.

Now I am a man and I carry all of that old life and the letter of the Law.  The Bible and the “Ten commandments.” along with the sermon on the mount right onto my adult life -even as a believer.

It is written;  “that Christ learned obedience (draw near to God, to Harkin, to listen) by what He suffered.”

Do you think that as a little boy He learned that obedience, but as you and I must?  Do you think that we have to learn obedience, to hear and seek God as a child and man just as He did?  Do you think that perhaps He knows and understands you and the life you are experiencing today?

The way of and to Christ is the way of suffering.  In my sufferings, in all of my losses, my agonies, I found Christ.  It pleased Him to reveal Himself to me and I am now in Him and a new creation – “born again”.  Being “Born again” is just the beginning of our journey here, where He uses every detail and experience of our lives to make us like Him.  To rule and reign with Him in eternity as His Bride, His wife.  Bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.

Now day by day, choice by choice, circumstance, by circumstance, I find the old life in me that is a lie, that creates only fear and condemnation.  It is that place that I let go of my old life and turn to embrace the new me, the new creation and new life of freedom, peace, safety and love.   I understand the cross & forgiveness and reconciliation with our Father with whom I can sit at His feet.