“Life is pain, your highness. Anyone who says differently is selling you something.” --Wesley, The Princess Bride
I once read through a magazine that was profiling “The 50 Most Influential Christians in the World” or something like that. George W. Bush was on the cover. I was curious and flipped through it to see if my parents made the list. I got all the way to number 50 and instead of seeing my father or mother, I saw... Dr. Phil!
I was incensed at the injustice of it all! I even went to lunch with a pastor friend and complained about how Dr. Phil was all flesh-based in his advice, etc. My friend quietly informed me that his dad led Dr. Phil to the Lord almost thirty years ago.
Bam! At that moment, I pretty much heard the Spirit say to me, “Look at the poison coming out of your mouth. Pete, that’s not who you are.”
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. --Romans 12:2
Our minds and bodies need renewing. Lots of renewing. So much, in fact, that it takes us our entire lives. No one gets to the point of total perfection while here on earth, and anyone telling you otherwise is selling you something.
And yet, that needn’t be discouraging. What a wonderful thought, that Christ loves us enough to give us the Holy Spirit to patiently teach and lead us as we grow! We are already saints, perfect and holy in our spirit before God. Now we need to simply allow God to live up to what we have already attained in Christ in our souls and bodies! I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. God is ready to live through you in a way that is a natural extension of who He has made you to be in Christ. Will you give Him permission to do so?
Lord God of my strength and salvation, I know what my true identity is. I am a saint, a holy one called out by You for Your purposes and my ultimate joy. I stand aside now and ask only that You will make that truth come alive in all areas of life. I lay myself before You, a living sacrifice and offering to be used in any way. I accept the fact that this is a lifelong journey full of moment-by-moment decisions to renew my mind. I bow before You as someone totally dependent on You to make it happen. Thank You for promising that You will. Amen.
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