Life was simple before God. Follow your desires and take what you want and that was all that mattered. Behave enough to keep a job going, keep friends as long as you needed something from them, and at least once a week – do something reckless!
But I knew, even back then, that it didn’t feel right, it didn’t ring true as to how I should be living and treating people, and so that small seed kept me in check just enough. I am thankful, eternally thankful for that seed because without it I would have gone off the rails completely and who knows where I would be now, probably in prison.
If you want to live as your old self following the ways of the world and following every whim that comes along, then stay away from God. Once you let Him into your life He will completely destroy your old self – after all, baptism is the death of your sinful body, it’s an outward sign that you agree that God can take the lead and inwardly He then manifests!
Don’t get me wrong, God doesn’t destroy the self, your very soul, He just destroys the old self and what comes out at the end is a new self, a sleeker, cleaner you. Sounds good doesn’t it, but in reality, it is a messy fight where God will win and He has the patience of God – He has eternity to wait. Once His grace has chosen you, you are marked.
In the trial of Jesus, we get a choice Barabus or Jesus, and the choice is still here today. Choose the ways of the world, or chose Jesus. Following Jesus is not easy, but it is passionate. Listening to the Spirit within and all He impresses onto your heart can be damaging to the ego, but in the long run, we get an eternal life of Joy with God. I am writing this after I have finished a year exploring the presence of God, not in any theoretical sense, not in a tightly controlled Anglican way or Catholic way, but in a whole year exploring and experiencing God’s presence. It hurts so much now that I have finished that it feels like I must experience Him even more or die in the process. Sounds harsh, but I’m pretty unapologetic in my views that God wants a relationship with everyone, and once you taste that experience you will never be the same – Bishops, Cardinals, Deans, all can stand before you and try to calm your passion down but it will in effect not ever go out. What God has lit let no man try to put out!
Pick love or pick hate. Many people have chanted this over the last weeks, but how have we all played it out, do we still curse one another, do we still gossip and stir, do we still sin, in fact, do many even still believe there is sin for anything seems possible in this culture – Love does not mean, “everything is fine as long as we want to do it”. My old self taught me that, I saw the grimness and dirtiness of life before me.
Come on people Jesus offered a way to take those sins and make us a new creation, how awesome is that – it doesn’t even need surgery to change our DNA, it is simply one sentence that will activate this seed in all;
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
There has to be that acceptance on yourself to let God in, but when you do things will never be the same again. God brings Himself within us and when this happens then we have the mind of God, possibilities are endless and dreams become reality. Dreams becoming reality, is that a dangerous thought? Perhaps so, but our old selves have no say in the matter once, He has been let in. Sure we still make mistakes and act as ourselves but we have had a completely new upgrade, our true selves have been activated.
God has destroyed my old self, utterly, I can’t find it anywhere, nor would I want to, but I have a new body, and I am part of the body of Christ. Whenever I find myself moping around I just remember that thought and say – “hey God, what do you want me to do?” and sure enough when we bring God into the equation things get interesting; From healing on the streets with complete strangers, to strangers who are lost knocking on your door in the dead of night, from roofs being held up to protect us, to animals being sent as messengers as warnings, from people randomly telling you an answer you have just been praying about, to money or jobs appearing to supply a need, from phone calls answering your prayers instantly to prayers being answered in more miraculous and imaginative ways that take many weeks to come to fruition.
God is Good, dangerously Good – always!