So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. - Romans 6:11
If you’ve followed Jesus for very long, you know the old things don't become new just by happenstance, by being good, by going to church or by working hard for Christ. Those things didn't save you, and they're not going to sanctify you. They are all important parts of discipleship, but I know people that exhaust themselves in good behavior or in good works, and they haven't matured much at all. The problem is we often read scripture or hear a sermon about what type of person we ought to be, and we work hard to try to make that happen. We try to be a more patient or loving person in our own power, and it just doesn't work.
So how does spiritual growth really happen? With an unwavering commitment and submission to Christ, no matter what we face. The reality is, we don't mature much in the easy times. We mature in the trials when it's hard. We are refined when we're struggling to see God in the valleys, but we choose to lean in and trust. Our faith grows when God shows up in the hardest moments - that's when our faith to believe He is our strength is grown, that's when our old fears fall away, and we are refreshed and renewed.
One of the hardest days in my cancer diagnosis was my first day back to school - it was a teacher day. It was so hard to be with my colleagues when I didn’t know if I would be able to start the school year with my students. Those who know me well know how much I absolutely love my job. God's plan for me was rubbing right up against my plan for my life, and I didn’t like it one bit. I prefer to be a strong person that others can lean on rather than a person who needs to lean on others...especially at work. I needed to mature in that area, and God was showing me this. I needed to confess and repent of my need to be strong in my own power, and release the situation to Him.
What does God do to people who think they can handle everything on their own? He gives them trials where they have no choice but to lean on others. I could not do this in my own strength. The beautiful part is when I surrendered, and let others comfort and encourage me through Him, He showed up in some pretty amazing ways.
My point is I wouldn’t have seen my need to surrender that part of me to Him unless I had been put in that difficult situation. God allows us to walk into difficult situations to reveal something to us, to make us new. Sometimes they’re consequences of our own choices, sometimes they are not our fault, but they are always to reveal something about our heart that needs to be made new.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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