“…be renewed in the spirit of your minds…” (Ephesians 4:23)
As Christians, we owe it to ourselves to walk in the fullness of everything God has given us. We also owe it to God.
Nothing glorifies Him more than someone who actually lives in the lavishness of His provision for us. Nothing testifies more thoroughly that when His children can live in the abundance of His goodness.
Too many times we have been trained (or trained ourselves) to live in lack – and plead with God for what we believe we do not yet have. We have often turned our lack into a spiritual virtue. Or a means of “connecting” with all the other “lacking” people around us. We make poverty a virtue. Weakness, a source of pride. Sin, a tool to help us be “real” with others.
God is seeking for a people who understand the fact that He has provided all that we can ask, think, or imagine (for His glory!) through the work of His Son. He has provided the means and the way for us to BE just as He is (holy, righteous, perfectly loving)… from the very moment we apply the gift of our faith to His gift of salvation.
Salvation is not just a new start. It is a new life. A new way of living. Not as human beings doing the best we can (with God’s help) – but living just as Jesus lived when He was among us. Faith in Christ leads us immediately in to being Christlike. It is not the goal… it is the reality of what God has done for us! We are not becoming… we ARE new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We struggle with this because we have trained ourselves to believe differently. Think differently. We actually prefer arduous process because it makes us feel more human – more like what everyone else in the world experiences.
But a true faith in Jesus draws us to realize we are NOT like everybody else. We are new. Salvation means that we are of different stuff. We are chosen by God to be “holy and blameless in His sight.” (Eph. 1:4) We are restored (completely) to the image of our Creator. This is what God has provided to us through the work of Jesus. Immediate transformation – from the God who specializes in immediate actions.
Just hearing that last sentence fills us with hope and doubt, simultaneously.
It sounds too good to be true… and we are trained by this world to reject things that seem to be too good to be true. We unfurl our red flag. We draw back to the safety and comfort of what we have always known – our frail and flawed humanity.
The provision of God for our lives is that we would BE like Him – from the very first moment of our trust in Him.
That’s not what I say… it’s what the Bible tells us… We are commanded to:
God is not asking us to pretend to be something until we are that something. He is asking us to simply (faithfully) BE what His work has created us to be.
God is asking us to apply His provision (through Christ), by faith, to what we believe. To renew our thinking to line up with everything His grace has done for us.