January 15 I Friday
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” —2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, God does not require us to change anything about ourselves other than to come before Him in humble repentance. We can absolutely come just as we are in all our sin and He will lovingly accept us, and change our lives as a result.
In C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity he explains the changes God brings about in our lives are usually far more extensive than we expect. Lewis uses the analogy of it being like changing the interior of a house. We anticipate we will have to make some changes in our lifestyles but assume God will be happy to build off the existing framework. God may give us a fresh coat of paint, a few repairs here and a few over there, completely acceptable to us.
But after six months of becoming a Christian, God began to change Lewis’s life around, adjusting everything; it was like having a builder in his house. At first Lewis thought that was okay, because a little paint here and a few repairs there were good, but then it was as if God began knocking out walls, tearing down the staircase, new windows, new fixtures, and it was complete and utter chaos. Exasperated, Lewis asked God, “What are you doing to my life?” And God replied, “Didn’t you know I am trying to change your little shack into a palace?”
When we submit to Christ as Lord, He immediately comes to live in the little shacks that are our lives, sometimes very worn and frazzled, but He intends to turn us, from the inside out, into palaces. Our lives will not become masterpieces overnight. God’s transforming work is a process and can be difficult and even painful at times. We may want to hold on to old ways detrimental to God’s will in our lives, but submission to Christ involves acting on the convictions of the Holy Spirit and removing negative influences that take us away from God.
Renovations are time consuming and can be very challenging, but a good contractor makes something far more beautiful than it once was. Submitting to the lordship of Christ means we submit to the total renovations that come with it. We will never experience the will of God in our lives until we totally abandon our own will, allowing God complete freedom to work in our lives. Not only does God make us a new creation in Christ, but we will also live with a divinely guided sense of purpose and destiny, secure in the fact that the good contractor—Christ—is at the helm of our lives.
Prayer: God Almighty, thank You for the renovations You are working in my life. Help me stop fighting the work You are doing, and allow me to become a new creation in Christ. In Jesus’s name, Amen.