God’s word says we are “new” creatures in Christ. But often, I think we forget the “new”. We know it’s there, because we realize Jesus makes all things new as He changes us from the inside out. But when we allow our daily circumstances to overpower our spiritual newness, we’re making a choice to live in the old, the worn out, and the defeated.
This is not the life God intended.
In Romans 6:4, it says that we “should walk in newness of life”, and Ephesians 4:24 says we should “put on the new man”.
However, I don’t think the answer is in a self-help, step-by-step formula to improve ourselves. It’s not in doing more positive things or working frantically on our weaknesses, trying our best to find ways to overcome them.
I don’t believe we need self-improvement. Instead, I believe we need to unveil what God has already embedded deep inside of us.
I believe we need to uncover the new.
But please don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with following programs to improve your health or reading books to help with anger management, etc. Those things can be helpful and are often necessary. Sometimes we need to work on specific areas of our lives.
However, in this series Pausing to Live Purposefully (click here to read the series introduction), we are exploring the overall rhythm of our lives. We are looking at ourselves and asking, “Are we barely making it from day to day, with no real purpose, or are we living victoriously and pursuing the amazing things God has planned for us?”
The choice is ours, because God has already made us new. We just have to make the decision to walk in that newness.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
(I Cor. 5:17, KJV)
In this scripture, the word ‘new’ comes from the Greek word ‘kainos’, which means “recently made, fresh, unused, unworn, unprecedented.”
Read that again, and let it sink in!!
It doesn’t say we are ‘improved’, nor does it say we are a ‘better’ version of our old self. Instead, we are brand new! Fresh! Unworn!
I’m going to be honest. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around this spiritual concept of newness.
But I have to trust that God’s grace does what my self-efforts can’t. He redeems, fully and completely. If we’ve placed our faith in Christ, accepted His forgiveness, and trusted in His free gift of salvation, then He doesn’t just make us “better”, He makes us 100% new!
If we are ever going to truly live a life of purpose, we must first pause and take time to uncover the new person God has already made us to be. And we do that by peeling away layer after layer of self-doubt and inadequacies. We trust the work He has already done in us and take time to unveil His beautiful gift of newness.
This doesn’t mean we feel great every day. And it doesn’t mean we won’t have problems and struggles or that we will never be tempted by our previous ways of living.
But here is what it does mean . . .
1. You are free to live the new life God has given you.
The past doesn’t have power over you. The mistakes you’ve made don’t define you, because the grace of God has set you free to live an unprecedented life. Peel away the layers of disappointment and regret, because you are free! (2 Cor. 3:17; John 8:36; Gal. 5:1)
2. You are chosen as His prized possession.
He hand-picked you. You’re not last place, and you’re not forgotten. Peel away the layers of rejection, because they have no place in the new life God has given you. (2 Thess. 2:13; I Peter 2:9; Eph. 1:4)
3. You are known by the God of the universe.
You’re not just another mass of tissue occupying time and space. God knit you together and planned you for a purpose. He searches your heart, your thoughts, and all the hidden places of your soul. Peel away the layers of anonymity, because God knows you intimately. (Ps. 139:1-2; Matt. 10:30)
I could go on and on with all the ways He loves you, knows you, and desires for you to live in the newness He has provided. But it really comes down to you . . .
Are you willing to pause and peel away all the layers that are hiding your newness?
Make the choice in 2017. Uncover the new so you can begin the journey of living purposefully.
In His Grace,
This post is “Pause #1” in my series Pausing to Live Purposefully. To read the introduction to this series, click here. And please come back in a few days when we will take a look at “Pause #2”, The Power That Fuels Our Purpose.
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