Friday, October 23, 2009

I've Been Exchanged, Not Just Changed!

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Isn't in wonderful that we can go to God whenever we want and talk to Him on a personal level. Can you imagine living in Old Testament times where once a year you could go confess your sins at the temple to a guy with a rope tied around his waste, (you know to pull him out just in case God struck him dead!!!) that then presented your sins to God....that's some major red tape. The freedom we have today to directly approach God is so overwhelming! We get to talk directly to the Creator of our universe because Christ bridged the gap for us by dying on the cross.

The even more exciting part is that not only can we talk to God, but that He will speak to us. The Holy Spirit is the primary way God guides His believers and this spirit indwells every believer. When the Holy Spirit indwells us, It begins to change our wants, the way we act, and the way we see things.

Lately, I have been overwhelmed with worldly distractions around me. I've been a Christian for a LONG time, but I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't always living the lifestyle that God wanted me to. I was looking to stuff, people, and experiences to fulfill me when I should have been leaning on God. It took moving across country for God to show me the plan He had for my life and that I needed to lean on Him, not people or things.
Everyone has a conscience but when the Spirit indwells us, our tastes change and things that seemed so important last week, or even yesterday, don't seem important when we start living in the ways of God. Some examples that have been on my heart lately have been what I've been viewing, hearing, saying, and the way I've been acting.

Viewing: In God's word it says that killing and adultery are wrong, yet I was watching shows that portrayed these terrible things and sometimes even exalted them. I was also paying to see movies that supported actors, directors, and companies that have views, beliefs, and ties to things that I don't believe in.

Hearing: I was also listening to music that was talking about things that are dishonorable to the Lord and had bad language, talk of premarital sex, drinking, partying and other ungodly things.

Talking: I was using words that didn't build up others and was saying things to disrespect my husband and his role in our family. I was also complaining and "venting" about problems instead of counting blessings and thanking the Lord for each "experience" He sent my way.

Actions: I was not treating Tom with respect or acting like a Christian should. The way we act around others, is sometimes our biggest witness and I want people to KNOW without a doubt by my actions that I follow what the Lord teaches.

There are so many temptations out there to distract us from hearing the Lord and following what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do. When we yield and obey the Holy Spirit's leading in our lives, God will conform our souls to the image of Christ and will use our bodies as instruments to carry out His purposes.

Are there any areas in your life that you feel the Lord tugging at you to change or take a new route? Are there things that you struggle with, but know that the Lord is displeased with your actions? I encourage you to take them to the Lord and give them over to Him. When we started our journey, we were overwhelmed with the changes God was putting on our hearts, but once we trusted Him for support, encouragement, and guidance, we were shocked at how easy it was to let go of those things and follow His will.

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