Contend earnestly to become like Christ – Part 2
‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ – Romans 12:1-2
When Jesus stood at His friend’s grave and said, ‘Lazarus, come forth,’ His friend, who had been dead for four days, shuffled out, still bound from head to toe in grave clothes. His grave clothes didn’t just fall off the minute Jesus spoke to him. No, he needed someone to ‘loose him, and let him go.’ There’s an important lesson here. When you accept Christ, He changes you from the inside out. But certain experiences in your past can slow you down, keep you bound spiritually, and determine how you see yourself. And while the Holy Spirit does the initial work, transformation is a process – one that needs the help of others. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. The Bible says, ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new’ (2 Cor. 5:17). You are ‘becoming’! When Jesus saves you it’s like emerging from the tomb wrapped in the grave clothes of your past. What are those grave clothes? Negative influences and thought patterns, low self-esteem, old habits, destructive relationships, etc. That’s why God sends people to love you, help liberate you and release you into your potential. It’s important that you identify these people. It’s also why you need to develop an intimate relationship with God through prayer and Bible reading. Through His Word, you get a true picture of how He views you. Through prayer, you get to know His heart and begin seeing yourself through His eyes. When that happens, you begin to live redeemed, released, and redirected.
Jesus, I thank You for saving me. I was desolate without hope, heading nowhere. But through the wonder of the cross You saved me. You brought me out of darkness and into Your wonderful light and love. I pray that all bondages of my past will be broken off of me in Jesus’ name! All shame, guilt and negative thinking about myself has been done away with. I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus and have taken off my old nature that brings me down into despair and I have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ. I am a child of God and have been ransomed with Your blood. I now put on my new nature and in doing so I break off any bondage or hindrances that have been holding me back. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that enables me to live in resurrection power. I speak peace over my mind, my soul and my emotions right now in Jesus’ name. I am overtaken with Your love and overjoyed at the freedom I now have in You to live a life of victory and not defeat. Thank You for the new person I am in You. I will feed on You through prayer, meditate on Your Word and will surround myself with things and people that will lift me up and keep me in Christ Jesus. I will bless You at all times. My life will be a testimony of Your goodness and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.