The new you… fully equipped, part 2
Yesterday, we talked about the need to live in the fullness of God’s provision for our lives. We concluded that we often struggle to live in the fullness of what God has provided for us. There are reasons for this…
It really comes down to two basic reasons.
Not knowing. Some Christians are just simply ignorant of what God has provided to His people. Perhaps, they have not been taught the truth concerning the fullness of God’s salvation. After all, there are whole denominations that cannot agree on what is available for today’s church. This message, of the fullness of God’s grace applied to us, is often ignored by some Christian leaders – and is, therefore, unproclaimed and unheard in their churches.
But God does not want His people to be ingorant of what He has done for them. The apostle Paul declared to the Corinthian church: “Now about spiritual gifts (literally: things), brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.” (1 Corinthians 12:1 NIV) Ignorance cheats us out of the fullness of our relationship with God. And ignorance cheats God out of what He wants to do through His people.
Simply stated: all Christians should want everything that God has given to us – nothing less, and (certainly) nothing more. The Bible is full of the revelation of God’s provision for His people. And He promises that if we will seek, we will find (see Matthew 7:7) We are each responsible to seek to discover God’s truth for ourselves. And knowing (the fullness of) His truth makes all the difference in our Christian lives.
Not remaining. For most of us – we know what is available to us, we just choose (at times) to ignore God, and do our own thing. This is really just trying to live the new life by the old nature (or the old you). It is all too easy to lose sight of our total dependence upon God (and His abundant resources) and sail out on the wind of our own resources and understanding. Though Scripture warns us against this (i.e. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. ” Proverbs 3:5) – we so often find ourselves in the ocean of our own troubles.
Jesus also gave us the key to successful Christian living… every moment of every day: “Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:6 NLT) It should be obvious to us that we always get into trouble when we choose not to remain in Jesus. It should also be obvious that Jesus will never lead us astray – and that He will always lead us in the fullness of what He has provided for us.
So, although we know the perils, why do we so often set God (and His provision) aside to do our own thing?
It is because it is so natural for us. In other words, it is human nature to do for yourself, even if we are not particularly good at it. This is the “old you” at work. This is your default mode. It is only natural for you to try it your own way, first – and to only seek help if you find yourself making a mess of things.
But if there is one thing the “old you” is especially good at doing – it is making a mess of things.
The good news is that there is hope for all of us. And it is a complete hope. We have been talking about it – it is “putting off” the “old you” – and “putting on” the new. Each of us must choose to do this, every day! The “new you” realizes that your own efforts and abilities are just a dead-end street. They never really get you where you want to go. The “new you” seeks to allow God the prominent place that He deserves in your life. The “new you” “seeks first the Kingdom and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)
Prayer focus: God, help me to be passionate about remaining in you, and walking in the fullness of Your provision for me.