Because I Am a New Creation


Waking up to another week and another to-do list that fills up the page. Walk the dog. Check. Grocery. Check. Head to work. Check. Driving down the road with a million thoughts and what seems like a million things to do and I realize, I didn’t even spend time with the Lord this morning. Then the guilt kicks in. I know what I am supposed to do, I know I want to spend that time with the Lord. I have seen how my days go when I do not sit in His presence and it isn’t pretty. I need Him. I have been a Christian for so long, practically my entire life, and yet I still fail the Lord. I begin to pray something like this…

“Lord, I want to love you, I want to put you first, I want to seek your face before anything else. And yet somehow I am still making the same mistakes, still sinning, falling short, failing my husband, failing you. How is that even possible? I feel guilt for even praying this prayer and wonder if my words even have meaning to you at this point? Do you still love me, Lord? Or do you look down on your daughter with disappointment and disbelief that I could still struggle with the sinful roots I had to write during my Bible study yesterday morning — envy, pride, greed, and selfish desires. I want to be others focused, I want to be gospel focused, and yet I fail so often. I need you Father. Amen.”

As I drive into work and check my e-mail I begin reading a blog by Ann Voskamp that reads, “Our faith better be deeply connected to our senses and our heart, or a sensual world will destroy our faith and steal our heart. If Jesus hasn’t passionately wooed you — the world eventually will, definitely will.” She later writes, “Unless you fall in love with Jesus — you fall into dead religion. Unless you fall in love with Jesus — you fall into dreaded rules. Unless you fall in love with Jesus — you end up having an affair with the world.”

And I realized, I have been having an affair with the world. I love Jesus and I do trust Him, but do I trust Him more than I trust my to-do list? Do I trust Him more than the amount I bring home on my paycheck? Do I trust Him more, or would I rather find my joy from a nice house, cute clothes, and a husband who does all of the right things? As I have been working through the Heart of a Woman study and recording my sinful fruits, I really haven’t been surprised by my sins. I have walked through this study with Thistlebend before and it is always hard, but it is always good and refreshing. I have been a Christian long enough to know that the only way to grow is to live in a constant state of repentance. I go to the study each week dreading confessing those ugly sins on my tree, but also knowing it will bring freedom. This week I will have to confess my jealousy of a friend. The thought behind my jealousy was that I deserve the same thing the Lord is blessing her with. My “old girl” creeps in to feel envious. Yet I remember the challenge Laurie gave to me just last week — to fill my name into 1 Corinthians 13 – “I am patient and kind; I do not envy or boast…” I do not envy. I stop right there because I know my flesh does envy. My flesh is not patient. Just look at my filled in tree and see that my flesh is a whole lot of things and patient and kind do not make the cut.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I thank the Lord that the old has passed away, my old girl who is jealous of a dear friend is NOT who I am. Because of the new creation the Lord has made me into, I can be genuinely happy for a friend. Because I am a new creation, I am able to desire to spend time with the Lord in the morning. Because I have accepted God’s free gift of grace and eternal life, the Lord is not frustrated with me when I pray the same prayer for the 100th time asking Him for forgiveness. It is His grace that even allows me to see my big, fat, ugly sin in the first place.

I go home that night to journal something simple, but true.

“Lord, thank you for loving me right where I am. I am thankful that I do not have to only come to you when all of my ducks are in a row and everything looks perfect. I can bring my ugly, messy, old-girl tendencies to you in full transparency and you lavish me with grace that I do not deserve. May I have victories over my sins that come only from you so that I may know you more and point others to you more clearly. Amen.”

Standing on the Word


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