A couple of weeks ago my husband shared a message on a Wednesday night that came straight from his heart. He shared about his own personal struggles lately…about wanting to complain about stuff, and having to check his own attitude. He reminded us of Philippians 2:14, and that we are to do everything without grumbling or complaining. It was not complicated. A simple message of repentance. A message of our need for renewal.
Many people came forward for prayer. I was touched and asked God to help me to be even more focused on His word. God is so faithful. As I prayed, I felt convicted to re-read, and spend time digging into the book of Ephesians. As I did, I journaled my way through each passage. I began to feel a little overwhelmed, as my journal entries became longer and longer. I kept seeing areas in my own life, my daily life – uncovered. I felt like, “Wow! God there is a lot to work on here.” It reminded me of a button my Mom wore in the 70’s which had the letters P.B.P.G.I.F.W.M.Y. and stood for, “Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.”
As I submitted these areas to God, I felt like He was urging me to just focus on two things for now. So I did. All week I prayed specific prayers into two specific areas of my life. The more I prayed, the more these two areas of my life seemed to stand out. I was uncomfortably aware. I knew I had to get to the uncomfortable space to do that work, and to see these issues as they truly were. I realized that the adversary would love to see me get stuck in a rut and stay there. The Holy Spirit, however, is a mighty ally. In Romans, I am reminded that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when I do not know what to pray. And as I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal things to me, He did. As I asked for His help, He worked through me as a restrainer in my life. He was and is ever so faithful!
Reading Ephesians daily and pondering the words and the actions required, the Lord revealed much to me.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within you, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
Infinitely more than what I may ask or think? Wow! There is no end to infinitely! That is good news! He is able to work and move on my behalf before I even talk to Him about it! Not only does He work on my behalf, He works in me and through me to accomplish His work.
Ephesians 4:22 says: Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!! Stripping off the old sin nature and putting on the new nature. I imagined it as if I were taking off an old, dirty outfit and putting on a fresh, new, clean outfit.
As I read this I realized the word throw is a verb. It requires action. When anything from my old nature pops up, I must throw it out, throw it down, throw it off. Throwing requires force, momentum.
Corrupted. Anything that is corrupted is tainted. It no longer functions as intended. Such as a computer file that has been corrupted…all the sudden it has glitches. As I closely examined some issues of my life that I was surrendering to God, I realized some glitches I was trying to work through. A longing, a lustful desire, is to long for something outside of God’s best for me. In my old nature, longing for something keeps me focused on what I do not have. In my new nature, I recognize that I am complete in Christ and my deepest longing is for intimacy with Jesus.
Oh how I long for you Lord. To be more like you, to walk in Your ways, to seek You first in all things. Continue to transform my mind. Renew my thoughts, and ideas. Change me. Change the way I see things. You are so faithful and more than able. I long for more of You.