If you are not pursuing God every day, you are pursuing death.
So, every day becomes an opportunity for you to say…the old me is gone, and the new me is here.
Every day is an opportunity for you to live with the kind of urgency that seeks to kill the sin inside of you and become who you are in Christ.
Okay, so if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering…
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If you are feeling that sense of urgency in your heart that something needs to change when it comes to your everyday sins…
If you’re beginning to understand the gravity of your sin…and how much love that it took for God to send His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, down to this earth, to die for you.
If you’re feeling that kind of urgency right now, and you don’t know what to do with it, let me give you three action steps that you can take today and repeat every day…
Action step one: Confess your sin to God…own it and then repent and turn away from it. (1 John 1:8-9)
Action step two: Tell someone about it…don’t try to beat your everyday sins alone. It doesn’t work. (James 5:16)
Action step three: Cut off the lines of supply to whatever sin you’re struggling with…it’s better to not have to face the temptation to begin with than it is to continually be faced with having to fight it. (Hebrews 12:1)
And, in all of these things, remember this truth written by Paul in Romans 8…
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
May God give you the will and the strength and the courage to do what you need to do today.
I think we get what it means to live with a sense of urgency right now…at least with some things. Like…
We have a sense of urgency for schools to open back up again IN PERSON.
We have a sense of urgency for the outcome of the upcoming elections.
We have a sense of urgency for more local businesses to stay open.
We have a sense of urgency for all kinds of major cultural issues of our day…everything from abortion to racial discrimination to political and social divisiveness.
Not to mention that we live every day with the urgent feeling that our lives would just go back to normal.
You’re feeling that right now, right?
I think we all are.
We all get the concept of living these days with urgency.
But I’m not so sure that we get it where it matters the most.
Because, while all of the things that I just listed are important and are getting a lot of the attention and angst in our culture and communities these days, none of them address our most basic problem.
The problem of our everyday sins…
Both the obvious ones that are clearly seen and the hidden ones that we do our best to hide.
Both the sins that we commit intentionally and the ones we commit unintentionally.
On our best days, we confess our everyday sins to God and sense the urgency of killing them.
We become what we are…a new creation in Christ.
But, on our worst days, we tolerate or excuse or even ignore our everyday sins and have no real urgency to do anything about them.
And, the danger is that we end up slowly becoming cultural Christians who live our everyday lives more and more like the culture around us and less and less like the God who lives in us.
Instead of becoming what we are, we act like who we were without any real sense of urgency to change.
We get lazy in our everyday faith, while we play the waiting game for things to go back to “normal” or for Jesus to come back and get us out of here.
We forget thatthe ultimate goal of being a Christian is not just to spend eternity in heaven with God in the future, it’s to become more and more like Him in the everyday now.
And, in order for that to happen, we need to live with the right kind of urgency.
We need to live with the urgency for constant renewal and refreshing.
We need to live with the urgency to pursue God every day, growing in our knowledge of Him.
We need to live with the urgency and understanding that our everyday sin is not something to be excused or tolerated or ignored.
We need to listen to Paul’s words in Romans 8:12-14, when he says…
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
The bottom line is…if you are not pursuing God every day, you are pursuing death.
Think about it this way…
When you get up in the morning, and you open up your computer…maybe you’re like me, and you’ve left a bunch of tabs open.
So, you go to your Facebook tab or your daily news tab…and you find yourself staring at yesterday’s news.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
You hit the refresh button…and that is exactly what we need to do as Christians every day if we want to become what we are.
We need to be renewed and refreshed every day so that we become increasingly like Christ and decreasingly like who we were the day before.
Every day is an opportunity for us to say the old me is gone, and the new me is here.
Every day is an opportunity for us to live with the kind of urgency that seeks to kill the sin inside of us and become who we are in Christ.
And, that’s the kind of urgency we all need to live with now in 2020…and beyond.
The basic premise of the show is that people would nominate their friends to go through a clothing makeover with two fashionistas in a one hour episode for all the world to see.
To be fair, in order to be nominated, you had to have a pretty poor taste in clothing. But, you also had to be willing to listen and take the advice of show’s two “clothing experts” who would literally start by going through your closets and getting rid of most (if not all) of your wardrobe.
Watching the whole process unfold on TV was interesting. People clearly had their favorite sweaters and outfits (for example), and were reluctant to get rid of them. Sometimes, it was clearly painful for them to let them go.
But, they needed to.
They needed to let go of their old wardrobe if they wanted a new one.
And that got me thinking…
What if there was an episode of What Not to Wear based on Colossians 3 and we were all in it?
What if God went through our closets, looking for things that we needed to let go of?
What would He find lurking in our spiritual closets?
In Colossians 3:5-9, Paul gives us a partial list of things God might find…
Just to name a few.
The bottom line is that these things don’t look good on us when we wear them. They are all part of our “old nature,” which Paul says we have “stripped off.” (Colossians 3:9)
The truth is, we all need a spiritual clothing makeover.
Because, to the people around us, we are what we wear.
So, we need to go through our spiritual closets and allow God to get rid of anything in them that doesn’t look like Him.
And, we also need to “put on our new nature, and be renewed as we learn to know our Creator and become like him.” (v.10)
We need to “clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience…and love.” (v.12 & 14)
Honestly, this can be a painful process, and it doesn’t happen in a neat and tidy one hour episode of our lives.
But, it needs to happen…because people are watching.
May God give you the strength and humility to go through your spiritual closets with Him today.