So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.Putting off my old self was difficult.
Verses 17 and 18 describe me perfectly before I became a spirit-filled, joyful follower of Jesus Christ. Putting off my old self did not happen overnight. My darkened understanding, or stinking thinking, was an ingrained way of thinking.
It took years before I could put off most of my old self,
because I kept trying to take control of my life over and over again. Every time I did this, Jesus let me do it. One positive sign was that I became quicker at giving myself back to Jesus. Finally, I was able to let Him drive and I became a passenger who was along for the ride. However, I still have deceitful desires that keep trying to creep back into my mind. I combat this with prayer and scripture.
God has given me personal revelations through the scriptures that I read.
One such revelation is that I have been made new and have come to realize that I am holy. When I surrendered all of me to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit flooded into me and took up residence. My body contains the Holy Spirit and therefore, I am holy.
- Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.
- 1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
My attitude has changed and is no longer that of my old self, but my old self continues to let me know that it is there if I let up on spending time with the Lord in prayer and studying my bible.
Today, I thirst to read the Bible.
My bible is dog-eared, creased, and wrinkled because of this thirst. I know it contains all the tools that I need to live my new life. It keeps the old me from resurfacing and softens my heart.
My Bible is Alive
Additionally, my bible is alive with the stories of men and women who lived, breathed, ate, and slept just like me. None of them were without fault. In fact, some of them were quite flawed. However, they completed many important tasks of the Lord in spite of their faults and flaws.
Perfection isn't a requirement to work for God.
In fact, all He requires of me is to be willing to put Him first before all other pursuits. God wants to be number one in my life and he wants me to be obedient to the plan he has for me. My focus has to stay on God.