ďAnd coming to His own country [Nazareth], He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter's Son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this? (Matthew 13:54-56, AMP)Ē
Itís amazing how the people you used to know or spend the most time with tend to try and limit your potential. I am sure many us have experienced similar circumstances where years have passed and God has delivered, changed, purged and driven us into a closer relationship with Him.
While many of us cannot deny the things of our past, we can remember them in thankfulness to God for changing our actions, habits, dispositions-our very way of thinking. Some of us were liars, thieves, whoremongers, backbiters and so on. And we all still have some growth that needs to take place in our lives. But as the church saying goes, ďI ainít what I need to be but thank God I ainít what I used to be.Ē And thank Him, we should!
Jesus was never any of these things yet people still attempted to bring Him down to their level. You see some people are more concerned with credentials than performance but when you have God in your life he can use you to do anything and empower you to do it well!
There are those who are comfortable with the old you because perhaps it makes them feel better about them selves but the day you accepted Jesus as Lord, He did something wonderful. He made you a new creature.
ďTherefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!Ē -2 Corinthians 5:17
And while we may still struggle with some things, we have something we didnít have before, victory over the things that once had us bound. We have grace through Jesus. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We have chance to live an abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven. And the more time we spend with the Lord the old stuff that used to ďdo itĒ for us looses its appeal. The desire to do and act the same as we once did is erased by the work of the Holy Spirit and over time a transformation takes place.
But there are still people who will see you and how God has blessed you and changed you and wonder, Isnít this the same person who used toÖ? Heís given us work to do for His glory and yet there will be people who still want you to only be who they want you to be.
I stated earlier that some try to limit your potential in their minds but thatís not the real issue. You see when they discount the work of the Lord in your life, they discount the power of the blood. After all, you didnít change yourself, you didnít draw yourself, bless yourself and the work you do should be unto the Lord.
When God promotes you others may look and say, Didnít she grow up in the rough part of town, she never went to college, she used to be a liar, sheís been divorced, she got pregnant when she was in high school, her daddy left them when she was little, she was abused or whatever! But only God can give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified (ref. Isaiah 61:3).
So when you are rejected by some or they still choose to see you as the person you were 10-15 years ago or even yesterday, donít take it personal. Hold your head up, continue to cultivate your relationship with the Lord and give all glory to the Father. Some will wonder how you do what you do, have what you have, speak what you speak and smile the way you smile but itís OK. You know the source of your strength and where the power that you have comes from. Let them talk, in the end God knows who you and the condition of your heart and the more you trust Him, there more He will entrust you with blessings, ministry and any other thing He sees fit to give.
If youíve done what you were supposed to do for the Lord and they marvel or wonder how you did not, let them wonder! And when given to opportunity to tell them how, say God did it and He can do the same for you...if you allow Him.
Continue to press!
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