“Your slip is showing…”
Have you ever heard those words? Hardly anyone wears slips today. But, there was a time when that question would have sent me scurrying for privacy to correct the problem, to hide my slip.
How spectacular it would be to be able to do the same with the old carnal nature when “self”, like overactive sourdough, bubbles over to obscure Jesus in me. The infestation of the old man is obvious to everyone but me; I’m blind to myself.
But once able to see clearly and I increase my efforts to be more Christ-like, it gets even more complex. The “old man” in me retreats when getting the least amount of attention and prevails over my new nature when my sights are set inward on myself. Conversely, the Lord asks me to be single-minded, looking first upward at Him, and then steadily outward serving others. In the Kingdom of God, lack of attention to self suffocates the old nature.
Let me illustrate.
Recently, a delightful animated movie came out titled, “Rango”. The star of the movie, poor little Rango, was a confused lizard that desperately needed attention and would do almost anything to get it.
Initially, he turns up as a braggy twit constantly trying to be something he isn’t. Through a series of novel experiences, Rango ends up in a town in the old west – a community of lizards.
He fakes the part of the hero, recanting tall tales in which he always vanquishes the villain. Elected to sheriff by the bewitched townspeople, Rango is unable to rescue the community from the crooked mayor and his gunslinger. Eventually revealed for the fraud that he is, Rango skulks off into the desert.
It isn’t long before he runs into “The spirit of the West”, a god-like desert entity spoken of by the townspeople in hushed voices. Depicted as an oversized Clint-Eastwood-like figure, he listens while Rango tells his woeful tale, bemoaning his sad state of affairs. Then, speaking authoritatively in a deep rumbling voice, the character declares, “Rango, it’s not about you; it’s about them!”
The little lizard’s transformation, as his focus shifts from himself to the townspeople’s troubles and interests, is noteworthy. Dejection is replaced by the fixed stare of determination as he straightens up and marches back toward the settlement. Transformed, Rango moves forward to complete his mission, to save the town.
His days of seeking fame, glory, and prestige with others are over. Self has taken a backseat. The well being of others has taken center-stage in his life, which I believe is God’s goal for me. He works in my life to extinguish the “old-man” and to develop Christ in me.
To beat the driving force of my carnal nature to “be someone”, to seek glory for myself, I need to treasure God’s Word and focus on Jesus 100%. I need to cooperate with God efforts to grow me into the image of His Son by letting Him extinguish self in me. I have died and my life is "hid" in Christ Jesus!
Thankfully I am a work in progress and God’s responsibility; I am being transformed from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit, just as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
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