Sunday, April 25, 2010
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I've been a Christian for most of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for that fact. But one thing is for certain, having been exposed to Jesus for so many years of my life, it's easy to become numb to the power that actually exists in Him.
For that very reason, I really enjoy spending time with people who haven't been exposed to Christian culture their entire lives. It's a needed reminder to me of the life changing transformational power that is only in Christ. I was spending time with a good friend of mine this weekend who has not been saved her whole life. Hearing her share of God's transformational work in her life was inspiring. From old to new. A being that is now totally unrecognizable from that which it was in a matter of years.
I have another friend who inspires me. Almost losing his life to years of drugs and alcohol, completely immersed in addictions and depression- God pulled him out of his mire and called him into a new life. Just like that. In an instant. From old to new. If you met him now you would never believe the life from which he came.
God's transformational power....sometimes over a period of years....sometimes instantantaneously. It never get's old to me.
It's like the people of Ninevah. So immersed in their sin, but with one calling of the grace and mercy of God they shed their old selves for the new. That's the miracle working power of our God. It's so incredible that just witnessing these transformations is enough to make a person believe.
If nothing else, it's definitely challenged me. Because I am so apt to forget the incredible power of Christ, I tend to take on more work than belongs to me. I am referring to the effort that I put into transforming my own life, but more importantly- I am referring to the effort I put into trying to "help" transform the lives of others.
Let me give you an example. I brought a friend to church recently. I was hoping and praying that everything would go well, from the people greeting her at the door, to the music that was sung, to the "perfect sermon" that the pastor chose to preach that morning. Everything from where we sat to what we said was fueled by the desire for her to come to know Jesus.
Ultimately, the desire is a good desire. My heart breaks for her and I long to see her transformed by the powerful work of Jesus. I long to see her reach the destiny that God has designed for her. But I get in the habit of forgetting that Christ's power in her life has nothing to do with me...and everything to do with Christ.
God's spirit is so powerful. It cannot be manipulated, fabricated, or created outside of anything but Him. If you find yourself relying more on your work and the work of those around you than Him than something has gone terribly wrong. Lay it down. You are carrying a burden that does not belong to you. And in the end, when left up to Christ the results are 100% miraculous. They cannot be ignored or denied. You will witness the beauty of a new creation where beauty may have seemed an impossibility. The old had gone the new has come. That is the power of Christ. So, to anyone who tends to be like me: do us all a favor....stay out of the way. :)
Lessons Learned by Debra Fileta at 4:13 PM