A Fresh Look and Unpleasant Reminders
Have you ever gotten a fresh look at your carnal self? I sure have and more often than I’d like! It’s enough to make me sick sometimes. There are some days and weeks that I get more of a dose of the old me than I’d care to see. Know what I mean?
The Bible teaches us that we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) and if that’s so, why do we get so many unpleasant reminders of who we once were? I’m sure there are some reading this that don’t experience as often as others of us, but the reality is we do struggle with things we thought we dealt with.
Welcome to the front line of battle!
We are in a war and then enemy would love nothing better than to take us out of the battle, disarm us, distract us and if he can, kill us, but at the very least, injury us so that we cannot fight effectively any longer. This is the front line in a battle one we don’t quite get. The Bible teach us that it is a battle beyond what we see: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12. This battle goes on in realms we can’t even see, but boy can we feel it! The devil loves to find ways to use our old self to disable us, to stumble us and if he can, throw us into such a pit of guilt and condemnation, that we may never feel we will see the light of day again! Ever been in a pit that deep?! One way he doest his is by giving us this fresh look at the old us. He desires that we feel so bad about ourselves that we surely cannot be used by God. What would God want to do with us? HOW could God possibly use such a mess? Here’s the heart of it…the enemy seeks to get our eyes off of Jesus and onto ourselves! We begin to lose power when we begin to lose focus.
Back to our flesh
I get these glimpses of battles that I really thought I had victory in. Ever happen to you? Battles of the flesh and emotions, thoughts and actions. It’s like peeling off a scab of an old wound and exposing it to rubbing alcohol. Stings really bad! I’m not a fan of the fresh look at an old me. I will suddenly find myself experiencing moments of envy, jealousy, anger, frustration, fear, doubt, and so many other things that I thought were gone. I hate seeing that side or those sides of myself. Very unpleasant to look at as they surface their ugly heads again. What makes them so unpleasant is that I know these are not the fruits of the Spirit, they are not things born of God nor things that a believer in Christ ought to feel or act on. It’s bad enough to feel these emotions or have these thoughts, but to act them out is altogether a worse matter. It’s like putting life to lies! I mean, it’s bad enough I fear and doubt, but if I then act according to that fear or doubt, it’s worse! If I’m angry or frustrated, it’s bad enough, but if I act out that anger or frustration…yikes, it’s not at all what I’m called to do nor who I’m called to be. This can all lead to a very distorted view of who we are in Christ…dangerous grounds to be on.
Time to refocus
How do we get out of this mess? Hard to do, but simple to say, we refocus on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith. It is through Him alone that we are overcomers and will have victory. He can help us take our mess and make it a message. He can lift us out of the deepest pits and my friend, I’d know this better than anyone! He can strengthen us to overcome our weakness. We are new creatures in Christ, that is the truth, no matter what the enemy tries to rehash. We can believe his lies and attempts to thwart our mission, our purpose or we can believe God and believe we are who He says we are, in Christ Jesus. Let’s not allow a fresh look at the old us to blind us of the reality of the glorious new us through Jesus. The enemy would like nothing better than for us to get stuck looking at an old and out dated picture of who we once were, but dear friend, if you are born again, if you have received Jesus, you have died to your old self and are new in Him.
We can be sure that the attacks will continue. Just because the thoughts pop into our minds, does not mean we need to give life to the lies. We can faithfully declare that that is the old us and we are now new in Christ Jesus. We can claim victory over those areas we’ve battled, if through Jesus, we have already surrendered them to God and have been given the victory over them. We don’t have to get taken back down into the same pits over and over. Why? Because Jesus declared, IT IS FINISHED! and my friend, that is good enough for me. We get a choice each time we are tempted to either believe the enemy or God…there is no middle ground, sorry. We cannot believe both. Why? Because lies and truth do not co-exist, though the enemy will try to mix the two to deceive us, but in time, we will see them clearly separate, because they cannot and will not stay blended for long. Light and darkness, oil and water, they simply do not mix well and neither will the devil’s lies and God’s truth. If we choose to believe and act out on the lies we are fed, it will lead to our destruction. If we elect to believe who we are in Christ Jesus, there is peace, hope, joy and life.
When I am tempted to allow condemnation to settle on me in such unsettling times, I do my best not too. I allow the feelings of disgust to settle in me for a moment, because I don’t want to ever be okay with being someone I’m not made to be or someone that is not reflective of Jesus. Once the disgust has hit my stomach, I ask God to lift me up, to take me by the hand and help me to see who I am in Christ. I thank Him that I get these moments to appreciate just how badly I need Jesus in my life and how thankful I am that He has saved me. Each day, we put on Christ, we allow ourselves to be clothed in the beauty of who He is and now, the beauty of who we are in Him. If you are struggling or wallowing in a pit of disgust and frustration over things you’re battling, please don’t. Take your eyes off of self, your old self, and place them on the most beautiful sight of Jesus and see who you are in Him. And may any fresh look you get of the old you bring gratitude to your heart that you are no longer that person, because of Jesus. Regardless of how you see yourself or how the devil tries to distort your image, know with all certainty, when God now looks at you, He sees the beauty of His Son, Jesus, covering you.
When the enemy wants to give you a fresh look at the old you, allow God to give you a fresh look at the NEW you in Christ! You are made in His image, covered by the blood of His precious and mighty Son and beautiful in His eyes!