Getting free from bad labels II
(Note: I am so excited by what God is doing during this Joshua series! We are seeing and experiencing some of the same truths as we walk through the book.)
A respected counselor once told me he was frustrated by how many people he saw being touched by God and never changing. He said, “time and time again I saw people impacted by the love of God, saw Him touch and heal them in the depths of their wounding, identify where they needed to forgive and let go, and experience hope for the future. At the same time I kept wondering why some never got out of the same old ruts…”
He kept thinking there must be something deeper that needs to be healed. His “epiphany” came when He discovered the pathway of transformation in Romans 12:1-2. It comes by RENEWAL OF THE MIND.
The mind has to be changed by MORE than an experience of God’s love. It has to receive truth where there were once lies. Love is the context but only part of the story. The mind has to fight off those lies and learn new ways of responding and relating. It has to hold on to truth as “daily bread.”
Yes, we become a new creation in Christ when we repent and surrender to Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) Old things pass away. But all things are in THE PROCESS of becoming new.
This friend discovered not everyone was excited by the prospect of learning new ways of relating. Not everyone wants to forgive, to think and do the loving thing in relationships. Not everyone is jazzed about learning to walk like Jesus did (1 John 2:6). We prefer immediate and miraculous change. We hold on to certain things we don’t want to let go of. It is like the guy when lowered in the water of baptism keeps his wallet (or anything else for that matter) held outside the water, basically saying “Jesus can have everything except for…”
The encouragement for those who want to change is this: God is willing and able! He has His selected avenues of grace – PATHWAYS where He gives and reinforces our new identity. The primary pathway is through His Word, the Bible. There He teaches, trains and disciplines us in love. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 12:1-11)
He calls us to REMEMBER – to consciously bring to mind and reflect on WHAT He has done, WHO He is, and WHAT He is saying and doing.
And God invites us to keep putting false labels on the cross. We have to quit going back to the cross and taking the labels back. And He promises to come alongside us and lead us forward.