Thursday, December 7th, 2023
There was so much stirring in me around my last blog that it seemed worthy of a second blog. I’m continuing on with the topic of giving up to God and not giving up on God. I’m going to share a couple more scriptures and then share a vision God gave me at the end. Let’s start with Galatians 2:20:
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
We cannot expect to have the crucified Christ living in us if we refuse to figuratively crucify our own flesh. If we desire to truly reflect the righteousness and holiness of Christ, we cannot have any of ourselves muddying up His reflection. Having faith in the Son of God means that we no longer trust in any part of our being. We cannot trust in both. It’s either one or the other. When we put our faith in Christ, we are aligning our spirit and soul with the truths found in the cross. When we put our faith in ourselves, we are essentially saying that Christ’s death on the cross didn’t really accomplish all that He said it did. That’s a hard sentence to write. We don’t like that we do that, but it happens way more often than we would like to admit or probably even realize. Let’s also look at Ephesians 4:22-24:
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
According to the Greek Lexicon, the words “put off” mean: “those things are said to be put off or away which anyone gives up, renounces”. “Put on” means: “to envelop in, to hide in, a new purpose and life”. Everything in our walk with God is based on exchanges or choices. We can choose to follow God, or we can choose to follow man. We can choose life, or we can choose death. We can live with fear and anger, or we can exchange them for faith and peace. We can exchange mourning for joy and the spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise. Every day, and many moments throughout the day we have an opportunity to put off the old self and put on the new man. It is not a once and done. With every step along the way we have a chance to make that decision anew. No matter how many times previously we have neglected to put off the old man, the opportunity that matters now is the one directly before us. We cannot go back. Now is our chance to exchange that which is growing more and more corrupt for that which is righteous and holy. The last scripture I want to look at is John 12:25:
25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
This is the key difference. Those stuck in a finite, worldly view are living only for the here and now. They only have so much time to amass success, popularity and material tokens before it’s all gone. We however, who have an eternal, spiritual view realize that what is here and now is fleeting. Instead of focusing on any of these temporal things, we are building up treasure in heaven that will never fade away. I am not saying our life on earth doesn’t have a purpose. God has a whole book written about our life that He desires we fulfill. Instead, it’s our perspective that needs a tweak. If I am eternity focused, then all the “stuff” on earth pales in comparison to being obedient to Christ. My human existence is simply a training ground to prepare me to be the bride of Christ.
I want to share a vision God gave me a few days ago. I had a picture of a hot air balloon that was blown up but was still being held to the ground by ropes. I have been to hot air balloon rallies where the weather was not conducive to free-floating. In these cases, some of the teams will blow up their balloon and let it go as high as the ropes will allow. They want to display their pretty balloons and give the audience a little bit of a show without exposing themselves to the uncontrollable weather elements. God is showing me spiritually that many of us (myself included) are in this place. We are so ready to soar, but we haven’t yet freed ourselves from the ropes that hold us to the ground. Perhaps we have given God a partial yes, but we are still keeping ourselves grounded, just to be safe. God is saying that it is time to release our ropes and give ourselves up to the plans that He has for us. Yes, there will be moments that feel like uncontrolled chaos, but if we fully allow God to be the air and wind in our balloon He will give us the best of what He has. It will be overflowing with unadulterated, unconditional and unending love, joy and peace. There will be no place for fear, pride or giving up on God. Lord, we release our ropes today and we give ourselves up to You.