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Becoming all new
- Jacob Ninan
As we grow up from childhood, all the experiences we go through have a large part to play in how we think and feel, and what we are inside of us. When we were children and didn't have the knowledge or maturity to respond to adverse situations in a mature way, we may have reacted in wrong ways, and this may have distorted our ideas about people, situations and our interactions with life in general. These are some of the sad consequences of growing up in a sin corrupted world with less than perfect parents, and other people around us. None of us would have escaped untarnished through this process.
When we come to Christ, He wants to re-make us, just as He did at the time of creation when He made order to come out of chaos (Ge.1:2) and finally reached the point when everything was very good (v.31). He wants to make 'all things new' (2Co.5:17;Re.21:5). He begins by replacing our stony heart with one of flesh, writing His laws upon our heart, putting a new spirit in us, causing us to walk in His ways (Ez.36:25-27), and promising to be merciful to us not holding our sins against us (He.8:12). God begins this work in us the instant we are born again.
Even though we might wish that this should be done instantly, God works in such a way that He wants us to want to change and ask Him to change us (Ez.36:37). Since He wants us to choose His life to come into us by taking up our cross, denying ourselves and following Jesus every time in the situations of daily life (Mt.10:38,39), it takes time for us to experience this transformation in real life.
A starting point for us is to recognise and then acknowledge to God that there is 'sin' in us (Ps.51:5). We also recognise the fact that there is a law of sin working in our flesh even when we want to follow the law of the Spirit of Christ (Ro.7:23). We have to consciously and deliberately seek for the Holy Spirit to renew (rewrite) our mind -- our way of thinking, reacting, looking at people and things -- based on the word of God (Ro.12:1,2).
When we begin to look at the roots of bondage in our thoughts that we have wrongly nurtured over time, let us not shrink back because of fear of pain. Bringing up old memories we have suppressed can be very painful, but enduring that pain is required if we want thorough healing. It is just like cleaning up a physical wound. Inner healing can take time and cause temporary suffering, but when it is done we will realise we would have been foolish to avoid it.
If we avoid looking at our hurts and cleaning them up with Jesus, we would not only be retaining the warps in our thinking, but because we continue to behave wrongly as a result of such thinking we will keep adding to the problems we will have in our life.
Jesus has come not only to forgive our sins and take us to heaven, but also to give us an abundant life beginning from now (Jn.10:10). Shall we not cooperate with Him and His servants as He tries to accomplish this work in us?