I used to have this nightmare. I dreamed that I went to school and forgot to put my pants on. That would be rather awkward, huh?
Though, it was a dream, I was embarrassed and I tried, usually without success, to find some pants. (Any of you psychology majors what to tell me what it all means?) Now, I don’t want to get too personal, but did you remember to put your pants on before you left the house this morning? L
Lots of Christians didn’t and they’ve irritated a lot of people by now. And sometimes we wear stuff that should cause our face to burn with embarrassment. I’m not talking about clothing you buy at Marks and Spenser’s (or WalMart), but spiritual clothing.
Here’s how to look sharp for God.
“Since you have been raised with Christ …” (Colossians 3:1). When you repented of your sins and put your faith in Jesus, something happened in your life. He changed you at the core of your being. You now have the power to live like the Lord.
Being raised with Christ means the potential to defeat sin and to serve the Lord is there. But, if you don’t keep in mind the fact that you’ve been raised with Christ and you don’t appropriate all the ramifications of that in your life, you crash and burn.
I have—a ton of times.
The key to a God-pleasing life lies there. It’s not “try harder,” but it is “look at Christ and what he has done in you. Realize what that means, and by His strength, become what you are—a new creation in Christ.”
How does this play out down there where my feet touch the ground, my daily life? (Colossians 3 tells us).
1. Set your heart and mind on things above (v. 1, 2). We adjust things to the right setting. Wrong setting, no results. Right setting, right results. A thought excites me here: the “resurrected David” is capable of adjusting the settings on his heart and mind. I’m not a prisoner of my feelings or my passions. I can control my reaction to what happens, but I must be intentional about it. I must decide to be the master of my heart and mind and not their slave. (You died to what you were and the life you are living is hidden in Jesus. Col. 3:3)
“Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.” (Col. 3:1-3, The Message)
2. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Col. 3:5, NIV). If you let junk run wild in your heart and mind it will eventually control your actions. “Putting to death” hurts. It isn’t agreeable but it changes the quality of our life. You put it to death. YOU!
3. Put on the new self, which is being renewed (3:10). We are resurrected with Christ, we are hidden in Christ, we are constantly being renewed. It is a fact and a process. Just like we put on our pants every day, we need to cloth ourselves with spiritual ‘pants.’ Try these clothes on–Colossians 3:10-17.
John Bevere says in his book, The Life You’re Meant To Live, “… true holiness takes effort on our part, which many are not willing to give. Because we must cooperate with God’s grace to produce the fruit of holiness in our lives, many ministers will either unconsciously or purposefully avoid preaching it to avoid losing the appeal of the gospel. Many Westerners would rather have an easy gospel that requires no labor than the true gospel.”
Two questions for you:
–Very practically, how does this play out in your life? What two things do you work constantly to put to death? What is your work plan today in order to let Christ renew you in that area?
–What two “articles of clothing” do you work constantly to put on? (Example: thanksgiving, letting peace rule, acting more in compassion, etc).
“”Over the course of the last five years, one of the things I believe God has consistently made clear to me is that He’d require more in my later years than less. Coasting was out of the question. If I wanted to teach and minister under an increasing anointing, for instance, or bear fruit more profusely or see bona fide breakthroughs in the Body of Christ and true wonders of God in the midst of ministry, I’d have to press in further, go deeper with Him in His Word, get bolder …in love, service, prayer and get mightier in battle. Humbler in spirit.” Beth Moore