2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The other day in my quiet time the Lord was speaking to me about five distinct areas of personal renewal. I wrote them down, and went about my day. However, over the past few days, the Lord has brought them to mind, and I felt led to write this blog post and to share these with you.
1) Earn It
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
The Lord was speaking to me about passivity, which is rampant throughout the church. Often people have giftings and talents that lay dormant because they are waiting for the right time or situation or circumstance or whatever to begin to act on them. What's more, is that God has placed a dream within each of our hearts, and it takes time and grit to fully pursue the calling that God has for each of us. When we're passive about such things, we don't really walk in partnership with God the way He wants us to. The essence of this area of personal renewal is to invest yourself fully in what God has placed in your heart - your dreams, your calling, your talents and giftings. As you do, you'll come alongside what God has for you and overcome the stronghold of passivity. Think about what your calling and gifts are, and if you don't know, ask the Lord. Then, pursue them with everything you have, fully investing yourself and reaping eternal rewards.
2) Change It
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.
Of course, fully investing our time and focus on what God's called us to can be difficult, especially when there's other things that compete for our attention, and habits and patterns that we've haphazardly created. What this means is that we need to change things to allow for the space to be available in our lives to walk as God has called us to. This may mean laying down small things like time on social media or watching TV, or it may mean larger things like laying down a relationship, a job, or a hobby. My suggestion is to pray and seek the Lord's guidance on what needs to change. He wants to partner with you on everything, so going to Him and asking "What in my life needs to change, Lord?" is a great question that God loves to answer. As He does, be bold and courageous in following His prompting, and see how things in your life will change.
3) Be It
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Sometimes we believe that we need to "arrive" at a certain point in our development to ultimately fully embody who God has designed us to be. What happens is that this leads to striving rather than being comfortable in your own skin and knowing that you are "fearfully and wonderfully made." As we accept our original design God has for our life and walk in it, we can be who are meant to be. We don't have to cater our personalities, characteristics, or habits to anyone else - let God be the guide in your life and fully embrace who you are. In other words, be who you are, and know that it's how God's made you to be. It's a beautiful thing to know that you are loved for who you are.
4) Charge It
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
As we walk in the way that God has made us, and pursue our dreams and callings, the enemy will come against you. This is for a couple key reasons. First, God's plan for your life includes some element of advancing His kingdom, whether through evangelism, teaching, or an array of other areas. It's our duty as Christians to know God and to make Him known to the world. As we do that, we directly attack the plans the enemy has for others. Of course, he doesn't like that and pushes back. In all honesty, the enemy is defeated, but can still wreak havoc in our lives if we don't guard ourselves.
Second, as you walk in your design, you align with God's purposes for your life, and His perfect plan for your life, meaning that you are walking in your authority, and walking in the power of the Spirit. This means your ministry will flourish, which too is a direct assault of the enemy. Be prepared for the enemy to push back as you walk out your calling. It may be through inconveniences, through disturbances, or through others in your life. When that happens, that's when we lean into prayer, trust in God's word, and worship the Lord with our whole hearts, knowing that He is all good and has overcome every obstacle.
5) Become It
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
As we fully walk in our design, embodying our calling and pursuing our dreams, we become more and more conformed to the image of Jesus. Remember that we all, "with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18). What this means is that as we walk as we're made, and are guided by the Spirit, we are being transformed into the image of Jesus. There is no more exciting thing to think about becoming conformed to the image of our Savior. As we become this reality, we see circumstances and perspectives change, as God is able to work through us to do the impossible. The question is - what are you waiting for?
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Ultimately, only you can decide to be who God made you to be. These are a few areas that the Lord showed me. They're not necessarily sequential, but instead represent a mindset and posture for pursuing your calling and walking in your original design. I encourage you to explore these areas, take them to the Lord yourself, and see what God has to say for your life about each area.
God bless you!
Derrick Rhayn is a new Christian and seeks the will and Word of the Lord.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.