The new you… faith before feelings
“…It is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”” (Romans 1:17)
If we are really honest, most of us struggle with a problem…
We hear Jesus’ words, and all this talk about what we can be, and what we should be (even what we want to be!), but when it gets right down to it… we so often fail to live up to these expectations.
When Jesus talks about us BEING the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we nod our heads in agreement – but usually end up shaking our heads with disappointment, at the results. Most days, in so many ways, we feel like we fail to live up to all these noble standards that Jesus is sharing with us. It is the same old pattern day after day… we try, we fail – we are discouraged… why bother??
We end up in a place where we seldom (if ever) feel like the salt of the earth or the light of the world. At the end of the day, there is more of us, than God, in the equation – and it eats at us more than we often care to admit.
But this is always a fundamental problem… this whole thing about being a new creation is very difficult for us. We are not accustomed to living by the “new you.” So when we don’t, we end up pretty down on ourselves – which leads us, more and more, into feeling like a failure. (Be Christlike?? Really! Only in our dreams!)
The good news is that we are not called to live by our feelings – we are called to live by our faith. This means that what we are called to think and do, often seems a little (or a lot!) foreign to us.
In many ways, we are very much like the proverbial “fish out of water.” Except that God says that we are now a new kind of fish! The problem is that we were so used to swimming around, and “breathing,” in water – that the whole idea of being an air-breathing fish is really hard to grasp (let alone feel comfortable in doing!).
But this is exactly what Jesus is calling us to do. The new you is all about leaving the old comfortable (and often-failing) you behind, and BEing the new you. God knows we are going to have our lapses. He knows how hard this is for us. He is not discouraged by our failings nearly as much as we are.
And that brings up another vital part of being the new you. The new you fails a hundred times… and gets up a hundred and one. The new you grasps the importance of limitless grace – and the fact that God really is for you… not against you. Ever! He is pulling for you, in more ways than we can ever possibly imagine.
Why? Because He has invested everything in us. He gave His only Son for us – so we could escape the confines of the foul waters of this earth and BE that new kind of “fish.” And He gave us the gift of faith, to lay hold of everything He has given to us. As long as we keep reaching out for God’s provision, He will always supply.
Even if we feel we really don’t deserve it.
Prayer focus: God, help me to focus on what YOU have done… not on what I do – and to live by faith in what YOU say I am.