Monday, May 9, 2011

Put Off the Old

Put off the Old by Maria Hartman
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your

bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
service. 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. Romans 12: 1-2

Many, many years ago, in certain tribal villages, a very strong deterrent was used for the crime of murder. If a man killed another, the dead man’s body was actually placed on the back of the criminal and tied to the length of his body. How awful this must have been! But what happened was this; as the dead man’s body began to decay, and his flesh began to rot, the living flesh of the murderer began to rot as well. The more the body decayed, the deeper the rotting flesh worked its way into the living flesh, until the dead man literally killed the living man!

I never heard of anything like this and it made me sick. But what is so amazing is that God can truly use anything to teach us truths about Himself . In light of God’s Word above, we are told to be transformed and to renew our minds. We can’t just ‘do’ that by trying to change our minds. How is it possible to move from worldliness and sin to the good and acceptable and perfect will of God? By allowing the living word of God to change who we are and what are. I know, you’ve heard that before and so have I. This time, really think about it. The Living God’s LivingWord can totally, completely, and thoroughly transform us! Nothing else can. No program, no plan, no degree of positive thinking, no self-effort, no amount of denial, no strict abstinence, no ANYTHING will change us. The Word washes us, cleanses us, and as we continue to ‘bathe’ in it, we are transformed into something totally different than we once were.

Why therefore would we carry our dead man or woman around with us? You may think that is ridiculous to say, but in a sense, that is exactly what we do when we try and live the Christian life apart from the constant reliance upon the Word, the Spirit, and prayer. Unless and until we fill our eyes and ears and mouth and minds with the word of God, it is just as if we are carrying OUR dead man around!! The dead, rotting corpse should be buried where it belongs. We can’t think him (or her) away, but we can allow the power of our God to make it so that less and less and less of him is around. Don’t you want him to go away? I do……really really far away. Sadly instead I often try to ignore ‘her’ and just try to do the right thing…..”I’m just too busy or tired for a deep look into God’s Word OR lengthy prayer time today.” Have you ever been there? Putting it off despite the fact that there is nothing more important?  Well you know what, ‘she’ stays real close when I say no to what the Spirit prompts me to do. ‘She’ hangs on and clings to my flesh. Can’t you just picture it? Good, me too and
it’s not a pretty sight.

For Today: May we never pretend that it’s OK to hold onto our old sinful flesh…to carry around a corpse so to speak. It won’t ever allow us to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice…it won’t ever be holy…it won’t ever be acceptable. Why? Because Jesus Christ died to set us FREE from the bondage and penalty of sin! So let’s
purpose in our minds together to allow our God to TRANSFORM us. You know those
little toys our boys have? They look like a truck or a car, and then when their little hands are finished with them, they are ‘transformed’ into something completely different. When we renew our minds in the holy Word and in heartfelt communion with God in prayer, we are transformed
 too…….into something that no man can ever create.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sister! I needed your reminder this morning. I find myself again being confronted with the stench of yet another "dead man" that I've been carrying around. And echoing in my mind was the phrase, "Put off the old and put on the new". I've been arguing with our Father all morning, "How am I supposed to DO that Dad! I can't just push a button and let it go it seems, because the Dead-Guy is Still HERE!!"

    So I read some Proverbs this morning, then still frustrated and being very sarcastic, I quipped to God, "What is there, like a!!" And typed it in to my browser window... OK, there's no site like that, but Comcast sent a search return instead with a link to your page! HA! :)

    And here you reminded me, right when I need it that there is indeed NO BUTTON to push to instantly make the pain and stench go away.... Its call TRANSFORMATION through His power. The only part I can do is the Seeking-First-the-Kingdom-of-God part by reading His words. His words do the Transformation.

    Anyways, a quick thank you note from your Brother in Nashville! I've been in the mud and slop of life and I've been getting caught in the sludge, and forgetting who I really am and Who's I really am. Thanks for the reminder!