But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
When I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I knew something had happened. The emptiness inside was filled. The fear of death was gone. I had an assurance and a confidence that wasn’t there before. As I began to read and know more about what had truly happened inside, I wondered at just how marvelous this God was who loved me so much!
Sin reared its ugly head and adversity had entered into my life. I questioned myself and my salvation. I began to fear that I wasn’t saved. The accusations I heard; “How could someone who is a child of God act like that? Say that? Go there? Drink that?” Later I learned that it was the voice of my enemy – Satan who stood to incapacitate me in fulfilling the life God saved me for.
I stayed close to my mentors and godly men who guided me. I continued in attending church, reading my Bible, witnessing for Christ and still, the struggles remained. Also, I knew I was saved, but how could I act that way, think those thoughts and talk like that? God be thanked that He answered a simple cry for help. Our loving Heavenly Father uses others to guide us when we are truly seeking Him. It was then that I was introduced to two very large and meaningful words – consecration and sanctification.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
What If I Lose Myself?
The presentation of my body as a sacrifice to God is to transform into the likeness and image of His Son, this seemed impossible. The more I tried to accomplish it in the flesh, the more I failed. At the root of my failure was the fear of losing myself in God. Losing who I was; who I knew ‘me’ to be. Also, the fear of who I would become. Would I talk and act like those crazed fanatics who looked and talked like they were so out of touch with reality? And what if I gave myself to this only to find it wasn’t real?
I Needed To See Things Differently
In Romans 12:2 it spoke of a renewing of my mind. I needed to see things differently; have a new perspective – to transform the way I saw things, to the way God sees them. The way it looked to me, it was impossible and what waited on the other side was scary. I find that this is where most well-meaning, saved folk exist until they die. What you find when you stay here is lukewarmness, mediocrity, and fear. Fear keeps us from allowing faith to take us across the valley, over the mountain, through the darkness into the light.
Seeing what was given for me to have this life in Christ made me open my heart to trust, by faith, that my Father knew what was and is best for me; throughout the rest of my life. Consecrating my life for His way and not mine was a decision that did not come easily or quickly. Nor has it been these 27 years since. Paul said it best;
1 Corinthians 15:31,
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Being dead to ‘me’ and alive unto Christ must be an all day, everyday mindset
Again, Paul revealed to these same Corinthians in
2 Corinthians 10:3-6,
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
The Transformation From Dying To Self
Die to self – and for what? Sanctification is a big word for being set apart for God’s use. We all have been gifted and talented for specific work in the body of Christ. Each must do their part for the body to be whole. God builds the body, maintains the body, heals the body, grows the body; for His glory. When we find purpose in the giving of ourselves to God for His glory, I can be more than satisfied to work wherever and whenever He chooses. Lastly,
2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Transformation Into Sanctification
Fear is not of God and only love will keep it away. Trusting my strength, my mind or my possessions will bring me into a lukewarm, mediocre life that will lose its appeal when failure comes. Realizing that I must transform, to die to the ‘me’ that diverts from God’s way is a daily seemingly minute-by-minute task that is ever-present. But we have been given the victory because
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.