MY ALTERED PAST
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
Harry Ironside, one of the first pastors of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, said…“Christians are people whose past has been altered.” The resurrection power of Jesus has forgiven their sins and forever stripped Satan of his right to damn them. What power! Without Christ’s death, my sins would have been enumerated and posted on my own cross. I would have died the death of one condemned. Hell would have been my end.
If my past has been altered, forgiven, then why does my past still affect me so much? Is it possible that the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead can also make me new, in every way, on the inside?
- If an angry mother raised me and I still tremble in the presence of anger, Christ’s resurrection power can deliver me from fear and make me bold. I can be calm and prayerful though others rage.
- If I was raised to be someone’s puppet and never had a thought or dream of my own, Christ’s resurrection power can deliver me from the control of others. I can be free to follow Christ and follow His plans for me.
- If I was criticized relentlessly for most everything I did and still feel a crippling fear of doing something wrong, Christ’s resurrection power can deliver me from playing it safe. I can become a Joshua who goes forward in the God’s confidence to conquer spiritual mountains.
How does this happen? Not by a simple prayer and one-time event. While Jesus washed away my sins through one event, His own death, the process of being made new on the inside is progressive. It’s something God does, but with my full cooperation and involvement.
Wouldn’t it be tragic to get to heaven and see a picture of who I could have been if I had trusted Jesus, and His Word, to really change? If I am a radical disciple, a woman who has great faith in the transforming power of Christ and every Word He speaks, I will cease to resemble the person I was in my past. Jesus calls each of His children out of the grave, offers to slowly unwrap the grave clothes, so that we can be free to live in resurrection power. To what extent am I allowing that?
I just realized, Lord. It’s called sanctification. Peeling away the graveclothes. May it be! Amen