Saul2Paul Blog: October 26, 2017

So now we know we have this free gift, given to us while we were still splashing about in the slop of sin messiness. #amazingGRACE. And some guys have the nerve to ask: “why should I change if I’m already given grace?” Seriously! Are you kidding me? That is the opposite of what we’re talking about!

Once you receive this free gift – by claiming and proclaiming your faith in Jesus – you now KNOW your sin. Your friend, awesome Holy Spirit, helps you recognize the festering dump you were swimming in. You really want to be dead again?

Jesus on the Cross is our sin on the cross; it was put-to-death! So in a way, our old selves have been buried with Jesus. When Jesus rose again, our new “reborn” selves were resurrected! We now live as children of God, under His care. We begin to become the person God always wanted us to be!

Let me put it this way:

Let’s say our old life is like a hike in the desert gone terribly wrong. You weren’t paying attention, just meandering along with no real sense of where you were. People you were with keep guessing where to go next, but somehow you kept going in circles. You were lost. You were out of cell phone range. Your friends kept eating and drinking up the supplies too quickly. And now; you have no food or water, and you begin to feel that dry, parched ickiness. You tongue feels too big for your mouth and the realization of your situation become clear: “oh, man, this is it.” That is what our sin does to us. It takes hold little by little, and then one day you realize it can kill you. Permanent darkness… #NoGodNoLife.

Then, as you lay down, wallowing in your hopelessness, your eye catches something. You misery is interrupted by a shimmer, a flicker, a what? You sit up and look and listen. What was that? You get a little closer and something smells fresh. You get closer and reach out. Your fingers touch the shimmer and now you realize it’s a little pool of the good stuff – H2O! Cool, clean, clear water! Fresh, fragrant water. You bend down and scoop it to your lips! OH! The sweet, sweet sensation of cool water on your dry thirsty tongue. You well up with joy (that’s not a pun!). You are renewed, refreshed, and full of hope! You jump for joy. You do the happy dance. Yay! Your hands rise up to the sky and you give thanks!!!! Light returns…can we get an amen?  #JesusWayTruthLife

So then what? Are you going to go back, lie in parched ickiness and wallow again? Are you going to return to the thirsty near-death place? Heck no! You don’t go back, you keep dancing! You have new life! And yes, it will change you. So let’s take it a step further. You have choices to make now:

The No Change Choice: you put yourself back in the place that led to almost dying, getting used to the thirst and despair all over again and comfortable in your wallowing.  You’re probably thinking “who’d choose that path again?” You’d be surprised how many people get comfortable and/or stuck in their misery. A lot of folks think they can’t change. If you say yes to this choice – you have chosen poorly…

The ChChChChanges Choice: “Ouch! Now you have to get rid of some habits and behaviors that got you to your near death place.” That may mean you can’t hang with the same peeps that helped [read: encouraged] get you stuck in the desert, it may mean you avoid the desert [read: toxic place of irresistible sin] from now on. You are going to have to work hard if you do NOT want to be that thirsty again. Some things you’ll have to give up. If you say yes to this choice – you have chosen wisely…

Let me be clear – just because it’s a wise choice doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice – just so you know. Safe to say most people do not like change. Peer pressure, family and church – yes, even churchie life – can inadvertently lead you to stay in some sin areas rather than change. If you want to change, you may meet resistance from people who are more comfortable with your old self. Giving up stuff you are used to can hurt, or at the least, feel uncomfortable.

Remember why you gave up stuff; so you don’t get that close to the horrible slow death of thirst. You can choose change the path you are going down, so you can live with the newness of the cool water which is always in your reach. You need to be clear, firm and loving, and remember, you will not be able to do it alone – you have the Holy Spirit on your side!

Holy Spirit? He’s the dude that led you to the water. Do you want to be led by [the world] to a place of thirst and death? Do you want to fall victim to the “I can’t help it – I’m stuck” crowd? It’s a ball-and-chain. It’s heavy baggage. You were born for so much more! Get rid of the ton-of-bricks sin so you can dance! You are free in Jesus! Praise and raise your hands to the Living Water! He is forever and so are we!

Take hold of the Gift. Choose Life! La’chaim!