For most of us, the only life and way of living weíve known is the way of life we had from the time we were born in sin up to the time we accepted Jesus as our personal savior. It was during this span of time when we formed our identity and established what we were going to do and what we were going to become in life. It was also during this moment where we learned how to react to different situations and predicaments in life. It was where we developed dispositions about certain things. Our temperaments were manufactured by the different occurrences in our environment and the many experiences we encountered along the way. It was a period during which all of our likes and dislikes were formed, a time where our emotions and affections anchored themselves to things and people. This too was a time when all of our learning was conducted in a state of darkness and under the influence of Satan and evil spirits. Weíve formed various opinions, ways of thinking, and acquired diverse mindsets that were suitable to the person we had become prior to our salvation. Everything about our inner person that governed our lives found its roots during this span of time.
It is this former life and way of living that must be dealt with before we can become perfected in Christ. The reason many of us fail at coming into our true and rightful position in God is because we simply add religion on to the lives we already possess without changing the way we have been constructed while we were in sin. Many of us still react to situations and circumstances in life the very same way we did while we were yet sinners. Many of us can get angry and permit the sun to go down on our wrath. Others of us still possess that same evil intuition that always assumes "the wrong" or the negative about a person, situation, or circumstance before giving the benefit of the doubt or before thinking purely about people, situations, or different matters at hand.
We must begin to understand and accept that the person we had become in life was a person that was structured in and among the adverse affects of sin upon man and the earth. We couldn't help that our lives were governed and influenced by the powers of sin and Satan and that the person we had become was a product of sin. After all, we were born in this condition and this bondage. But now through Christ, we can help it. We can overcome and walk according to the divine nature that was established through Christ our Lord. Without understanding and accepting this truth will most definitely hinder us from coming into our true Christian dwelling place. As long as we continue to hold on to our old way of life and the old person we used to be, we will constantly find ourselves struggling and striving in our new walk with God. We will find that many, if not all of Godís ways do not coincide with ours. We will also discover that the way of the Lord is unreasonable when compared to our methods of dealing with life. At times, the Biblical answer will seem ridiculous and almost embarrassing to implement because it causes us to bow down to God and His ways of providence and not to the altar we've built toward self-honor and self-preservation.
Another thing we must be aware of is that our lives as well as the way of the world has evolved in sin from the time sin first entered into it. The lives we have lived (whether we consider them good or bad) and the world we have known has been and will continue to be a product of sinís effect until it is renovated by fire according to 2 Peter 3:10-12. What we consider to be life and the way of the world is only a temporal phase that has briefly delayed Godís eternal kingdom from coming into its fullness.
What does this mean? Very plainly, it means that the life you are living in this present world today was not the life God originally intended for you to ever have experienced. But because sin has entered in, everyone must live in this world which is cursed because of it. Let's face it, because of sin everyone experiences hurt, pain, disappointment, heartache, sadness, poverty, sickness, disease, etc., and death. All of these found their birth into the world and our lives because of manís original sin in the Garden of Eden. Just think for a moment how marvelous life would be without all of the negative repercussions just mentioned. Although sin made its entrance and included every man in its affects, the Lord mercifully provided a way for everyone to escape its consequences. It comes through salvation found in our Lord Jesus Christ and through the shelter His word provides when we abide by the terms and conditions set forth in them.
Just knowing that our lives were never intended to be the way they were should inspire us to begin finding our rightful place in God so that we can experience the way our lives were intended to be Ė thoroughly complete in every way imaginable. Although sin still exists, there is a way for man to be delivered from its affects upon his or her life -- it is through Christ. Once we enter into Christ (when we permit Him to become our all and all), He becomes our shelter and covering from everything that sin can bring into our lives.
Beloved, make no mistake. God is no respecter of persons. He is ready even now to be a shelter to those who will strive to become what the Lord created them to be. In order to begin to grasp the person you were truly meant to be you must go to the very beginning of the Bible (specifically the book of Genesis) at the point where sin did not exist -- when Adam and Eve held a true relationship with the Lord. It is here that you will find the true function of all humans, their living conditions, the true relationship man is supposed to share with the Lord, and the true purpose for our very existence.
The reason so many of us find it difficult to become what we are supposed to be in God is because we are so consumed with this sin-cursed life -- what it can offer us and what we can become. If we continue to place our own selfish lives and the things that are in this corrupted world as our priority for living, then we will never come into the fullness of what God has for us (both now and in the future). Every breath we take and every move we make will only be geared at gaining everything we can for our self and for our life in this temporal world.
Hopefully, by now you're beginning to see how wretched and undesirable this life and this world really are. If living a life in sin brought hurt into your life, what do you suppose a life in God (which is your shelter from sinís affects upon your life) brings? If sin brought heartache, how do you think a life in God will make you feel? If a life in sin brings dissatisfaction, discontentment, and incompleteness, surely a life entirely in God brings completeness and satisfaction to the utmost.
Written By: Bishop Lloyd R. Ocampo
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