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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Change is a Choice

In review of Ephesians 4:22 it says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception”

Bottom Line:
Get rid of your old self and the way you used to live. It was destroying you.

What this means to me:
Paul tells me to get rid of my old self, and my former way of life. This older self was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.

Today's verse comes from Ephesians 4 where Paul is speaking on living a children of light. He tells us to no longer live as the Gentiles do (hopelessly confused). They are full of darkness because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They live for lustful pleasure and practice every kind of impurity. But this isn't what we've learned from Christ. Paul tells us to throw off our sinful nature and former ways of life that is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead we are to let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. We are to put on our new nature, created to be like God.

So any change will require making a choice. It’s not enough to dream of changing and it’s not enough to desire change. In order for me to change, I need to make a decision. I must choose to change.

Change is intentional. If I want to be any different in six months, it will only happen if I choose to change, because it isn’t going to happen accidentally.

It requires a choice.

A lot of times it’s easy to think that I’m waiting on God to change me. What I’m learning is that God is waiting on me. He’s waiting on me to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to make these changes.”

I need to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, and there is no loss without pain. If I’m going to grow, I’ll have to change, and change means I let go of some old things in order to grab hold of some new things.

This is much like swinging on a trapeze. The trapeze artist swings out on one bar, and then he has to reach out and grab the other one. At some point, he’s got to let go of one to grab on to the other, or he’s not going to make it to the other side. If he thinks he can hold on to both, what happens? He gets stuck in the middle, and he’s going down.

Today, I should consider if I’m stuck in the middle, ready to go down because I haven’t let go of the old patterns, the old habits, and the old ways of thinking. I need to let go of my old ways.

Today’s verse reminds me to, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life” (Ephesians 4:22a NLT). In other words, let it go. Those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns, those old sins in my life, let them go. Paul tells me to throw them off and trust that God is working in you “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13b NIV).

Just last night I was thinking about my identity and who I am.  I believe a series of recent events has helped me once again realize that my identity and importance was being tied up in my role at work. I was getting a little to set up in defining who I am through this role.  A series of events had occurred, which disappointment from my clients has come about.  

It came to mind to me that my identity is simply that as a child of God, made in his image.  My purpose in life is to bring glory to him. I am to advance what He thinks is important. I am to share and introduce to others he brings into my life.

I don’t need to base my life on an identity in a career, job or role.  I am simply a servant who serves and makes life better for others.  This ties into today’s reminder regarding making a choice. I will choose to think of myself in this realm.