Weekday Devotionals

“Run and Don’t Look Back”
written by Brenda Nidiffer

Verse:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
 
Thoughts:
In this week’s message, Pastor Pete encouraged us to remember what we used to be like before we met Jesus and to let our old life and ways of doing things go, clinging to the new life we have in Christ because of his finished work on the cross.  Once we begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the refining and molding process begins.  Some things are easier than others to surrender, but from my experience it can be difficult to fully trust & embrace the transformation process that begins the moment we surrender our life to Christ.  There are the recurring temptations, the fear and doubt that creeps in when you are trying to fully trust in God’s perfect plan for you.

I remember a time in my life where God was beginning to pull back the layers of where I found my worth & value.  As God began to reveal the areas I was finding significance in above Him, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart things I needed to let go of.  I would wrestle with God over what deep down I knew I needed to leave behind, trying to rationalize that it couldn’t be that bad, everyone else didn’t seem to have a problem with it, even other Christians I knew.  I would come to a place of surrender, letting these things go and then I would find myself picking them back up.  Convincing myself that maybe I misinterpreted what God was trying to tell me.  These things made me happy, made me feel special.  But the problem was, I wasn’t willing to surrender full control in this particular area of my life, my heart didn’t fully belong to Him.  I was allowing earthly things to fill the voids that only a perfect, loving Heavenly Father was meant to fill.
 
The cycle continued for quite some time for me, until one day when God made sure, without a doubt that I knew how He felt on the subject.  I had just finished reading the story of Lot and his family out of Genesis 19.  God sent two angels to warn Lot of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the rampant immorality that existed there.  A merciful God gave Lot & his family the opportunity to escape before the city was completely destroyed.  The angels orders were, “Run for your lives!  And don’t look back!”  As Lot and his family are running for their lives, fire raining down from heaven on Sodom & Gomorrah, Lot’s wife looks back and she turned into a pillar of salt. God hit me like a ton of bricks in that moment with the thought, “Don’t be like Lot’s wife.”  Why do you keep looking back and trying to cling to things that are entangling you and keeping you from fully experiencing the freedom you have in me?

I can’t say it’s been easy to put those things down, sometimes the temptation has been so hard to resist, but with time my heart began to trust more in the plans God had for my life.  I began to experience more freedom, joy and a more consistent identity of who I was in Christ.  The things of this world can be so alluring, that it’s hard to discern between God’s best and what the enemy makes out to look like is best for us.  It takes time and a conscious, daily surrender to the work God is doing in in your heart, your thoughts and through your life.  Being on the other side if this specific battle, everything that God challenged me to lay down has been completely worth it.  I didn’t always see that at the time, but it truly was for my best interest and led me to a place of peace and greater freedom.  The boundaries God was encouraging me to put around my heart, were and continue to be for my good.  They have protected me from so much and kept me from going down paths that would have only led to more emptiness.
 
Whatever it is you may be finding difficult to let go of, remember the angels words, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back!”

Application:
-Reflect on who you were before you met Jesus. Are you still living in those patterns of sin? Are you clinging to an old way of life, when God is wanting you to embrace the new?

-What is something you are clinging to for security and significance, that God is calling you to surrender to Him?

-Do you have others in your life that can help keep you accountable as you take your next steps in Christ?

Keep Pressing Into Him!
Many Blessings,
Brenda