11 April 2021
Colossians 3:9-10 'Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old actions are now obsolete.' (The Message)
The biblical idea of an old and a new nature is a very radical one. It means that, as a Christian, I am now totally different than I was before I knew Christ. Before I committed my life to him, I may have been naturally pre-disposed to all kinds of negative behaviour patterns, because of my genes or my environment. But I am no longer bound to their effects and I can overcome them, if I stay close in my relationship to the Lord. In Christ, I've become ?a new creation'. Now, as never before, I can choose to rise above my old way of life and act in a way that's pleasing to God, doing things that change my world for the better, bringing God's Kingdom to earth. I do not overcome temptation simply because of the strength or my own determination. I overcome old habits through the incredible power of Christ that pervades every part of my being. Where once I would have struggled endlessly to overcome my weaknesses, I can now bring them to the cross and allow Jesus to kill off their hold on me. I don't need to constantly punish myself for failing to match up. If I fail, and genuinely turn away from the failure, God has made provision for me. Death to self is not an easy process. It can be very painful, because selfishness is so ingrained in my old way of thinking. But as I allow God's Holy Spirit to discipline my thoughts and desires, I am liberated so that I can get on with the great adventure God has mapped out for my life. Past problems, bad habits and sinful thinking no longer has any hold on my future.
Prayer: 'Lord, though it is painful for me, I want to die to my old self so that I can live to God. Help me, today, to live and walk as a new creation in Christ, no longer bound by the disposition of my old life.'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004