“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Have you ever experienced a Christian announce, “I’m a new creation in Christ!”; and because of this bold declaration, you felt permission was granted to watch those BIG words get backed up?
This friend may spew a few Bible verses (as a reminder of your sin), switch Sunday football for church and even stop drinking and swearing.
But, when you consider your experience of her, are you really getting those ‘New Creation Vibes’?
I feel your frustration.
One of the reasons I ran from God was my encounters with ‘religious’ folk who dressed right and talked right but…something just wasn’t right. I was a youngster and had no idea what discernment was, but my bullshit meter went off every-time I entered the church building. Something was out of alignment and I couldn’t quite nail what it was.
I wasn’t going to church to ‘do’ something religious. I came to encounter God.
Don’t get me wrong, I heard a lot of powerful thoughts thunder from the pulpit. Stuff that had the power to change lives! Yet, week to week, year after year, it wasn’t hard to see nothing change. Biblical concepts were gulped like potato chips during a Netflix binge; there was a lot of consumption but not much digestion.
I’m not faulting anyone because I was among the masses who was not seeing victory in my life. In my heart, I believed God was real, but my experience in those Baptist pews, told me miracles and lasting change weren’t actually possible for today.
The complacent attitudes of those around me confirmed that real change wasn’t expected. In fact, I learned (the hard way) upsetting the status quo made people very uncomfortable and asking questions was not my ‘place’, as a girl, child or an inquiring mind.
After a while, I saw no point doing the ‘religious thing’. I figured if God didn’t have power today, why bother learning (and being frustrated) about what He did in the past? It was nice God was so good to Moses, Abraham and Jacob but what about me? Was I greedy or wrong for wanting more? Must I repent for that? My heart wanted to believe the Bible was not just a story to read and then go about my week unchanged. To me it seemed like a bum of a deal to simply read about the great miracles God did for these guys.
So, I stopped reading the Bible. Then I stopped going to church. Then I began walking down a dark path of my own (for almost twenty years). It took a miracle of God to bring me back to Him…the real God, not that ‘religious’ one.
If I’ve learned one thing about God, I know for sure that He is an interactive one. His Spirit longs to engage with ours. He doesn’t ‘look’ or ‘feel’ religious, although it is clear by reading His word, He has His standards. God can be found at the beach, Costco, during a fight with your spouse, amidst the loss of a loved one, inside the details of a tiny flower. God does not limit himself to a building, a pulpit or even a book talking about His miracle powers.
Since my radical encounter with God (outside the church and inside a strip club), I know The Almighty sure loves people and will stop at nothing to help any Believer become a New Creation. His presence has the power to change yours but only if YOU allow it! The miracle working words of the Bible are rendered powerless until we CHOOSE to live out what it teaches. This is not about gaining more knowledge or reflecting perfection. It’s about working with His Spirit to change our hearts, our relationships and ultimately, our lives. It’s allowing our lives to be the witness the world is searching for.
What I learned about becoming a New Creation:
- You must WANT it. God will not over-ride your free-will. He can see past your BS, so be honest with yourself and Him. Consider this: If you haven’t changed, is there something you love about staying where you are?
- God’s word HAS POWER. But it is YOUR FAITH that activates this power. When you don’t agree and believe, you’ve siphoned what His word can do for you.
- The Holy Spirit wants to partner with us, which means we must INVITE Him into our hearts. He is the one that give us the strength, discernment and wisdom to do life differently.
- God expects ACTION and OBEDIENCE. If He speaks to my heart about something and I refuse to OBEY, I am stunting my own growth. If I’m not growing it’s probably because I’m not OBEYING.