"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with it's practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. "
Death is a strange thing. One moment a person is alive, the next they are gone. Loved ones mourn and wrestle with the idea that the person they loved is no longer here. They don't always accept it, some refuse to. Yet as time goes on those wounds begin to heal. As God starts moving and helps us to let go, we start reaching a point where it gets easier to breathe. Life begins to move forward...However, this isn't the case for everyone.
There are moments where we mourn once again. Finding our loved ones belongings that were left behind or seeing an old photo can reopen those wounds. We relive those memories, but there is now something missing. What once satisfied no longer does. The previous verses in Colossians go over the importance of pursuing holiness and how it starts by putting to death whatever is in our human nature to do. In this section of scripture above, we talk about the practice of putting on the new self and taking off the old self.
The moment that you accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and invited him to live within you, there was LIFE. But what we also seem to forget or not put importance on is that there is also always a DEATH.
In this passage Paul does not tell the church of Colossae "If you take off your old self and If you feel like putting on you new self..." No. Paul states, "since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self..." He does not leave room for interpretation. It was and is expected of all who follow Christ to take of their old selves.
Because your old self has DIED.
With this new year starting off, I know that we are all in the same boat of having New Years resolutions of having goals that we want to accomplish. We are striving for a better life or something different that what we once had. We want something new and exciting! A new body or new dreams! This is a wonderful thing to want. Newness. Restoration. Healing. What I have found that happens in all our lives, however is that we don't always put to death our old ways. We year to move forward with our lives, yet continue to live in the comfort of our earthly desires and wants.
The reality is that: because we are human, it is very difficult for us to allow things to die. So instead of allowing our old self to pass away, we start wearing our old self like a coat. We hoard all of our old habits and character traits because we are afraid of being vulnerable or exposed without them. So we store them away for a while, and bring them back whenever we feel like being "comfortable again. See the problem?
2 Corinthians 5:17 states:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)
A new life has begun.
So why are you still living your old one?
There is a call placed on all of our hearts as children of God. A call not only to have a new heart but to maintain that heart. David cried out to God, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Even David, a man after God's own heart messed up. But he teaches us that God will always be the God of mercy and grace. God will always be ready for us to turn away from the old and start living the new. And that is a beautiful thing. My challenge to you this morning is to ask yourself the following:
- "What are some old habits or ways that I am struggling to let go of?"
- "Is there something or someone hindering me from growing closer to God?"
- "Write down a few reasons why you feel you cannot let go of your old self. Is it fear? Insecurity? Stubbornness?"
- "What are some steps you can take to put to death your old self, and renew your mind to live in your new self?"
Our Father wants us to have new life, new goals, new dreams. He created us to be that way and desire those things! We have be willing to take of our old self and put on the new self however in order to fully glean what God has in store for us.
God, I thank you for who you are. I thank you for sending your son to die for my sins so that I may have new life. I thank you for allowing me to be a new creation in Christ. For clothing me in new clothes, and for making me white as snow. God I ask that you open my eyes to the pieces of my old life that are trying to remain. I pray that you search me Lord and know my heart, that you test me and know my anxious thoughts, and that you remove from me those pieces of sinful flesh that are dug in so deep. Lead me in the way everlasting Lord and rescue me from myself. I pray for patience Lord, endurance, an overall please as I go through this process. Let my life be a reflection of you and all you are. To you be the glory Lord. Amen.