Receiving continual renewal
"Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ." Colossians 3:9-11 MSG
This year for our anniversary my husband got me a pour over coffee maker with all of it's accessories. I'd been wanting to convert to pour over coffee for a while because I had been told it was "the best cup of coffee you'd ever have" and the creative in me loves the idea of making coffee being more like an art.
The first few days and weeks of using my new pour over coffee making technique were awkward. The first cup of coffee I made was far from the best cup of coffee I'd ever had. But eventually, I mastered the new technique and started to "level-up" my coffee making as the weeks went by.
Our other traditional coffee pot still hangs out on the kitchen counter, and just the other day I walked by it thinking it had been months since I'd used it, and I really should throw it away. I can't imagine a time when I'd use it instead of making a pour over coffee.
Letting go of old things can be really difficult.
For some reason, you might hang on to your older items even when they're replaced, or even after your lifestyle has changed like my pour over coffee conversion. It reminds me a lot of what life is like as a follower of Jesus.
Your old, sinful nature has died with Christ. You are no longer a sinner and you are no longer identified with your old self. You have a new identity as a follower of Jesus. The Bible also tells us we are continually being renewed (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).
It's not only about letting go of old sinful nature, but it's about experiencing more of God's glory and having a more profound understanding of His character.
I think often, we expect transformation to happen quickly and to be a "one and done" kind of thing. Sometimes, I wish it was. But lately, I've realized that transformation requires patience.
Spiritual growth involves picking up new things, and learning more about God's character. It also requires replacing old things like replacing unbelief with faith.
It won't always happen immediately, but it'll often be a slow and steady process requiring patience, steadfastness, and persistence.
The continual renewal, the process of gaining the new thing, often means we have to let go of the old thing.
With my pour over coffee maker, I had to learn how to use it and learn to rely on it before I even considered getting rid of my other coffee pot. I think I wanted a back up plan, another coffee pot to rely on, in case on a groggy, Monday morning, I really needed it.
I think God wants us to rely on Him and to seek continual renewal every day. That means letting go of the back up plan, whatever that is for you today. Maybe it's your own self-sufficiency in a specific area.
To embrace the new way of life God offers, with more glory every day, you have to learn it by getting to know Him. And eventually, the back up plans in certain areas that you used to rely on won't even make sense anymore. To give up the old things, you have to start learning and receiving the new things God has for you.
-What is something you feel like you have been hanging onto in your spiritual life? Why?
-Have you experienced continual renewal? What does that process look or feel like?
-How can you rely on God first?
Pick out a verse of scripture to memorize and meditate on this week to "renew your mind" (Romans 12:2)
God thank you for being in the process of continual renewal with me. Thank you for desiring more for my life, and for offering a way to continually be transformed. Help me to seek out continual renewal in your Spirit this week. Amen.