New You!

New You!

It’s time to be the new you God created. Out with the old and in with the new! And it starts with letting go of what’s no longer needed.

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Obsolete Gifts

Apple’s advertising campaigns are flat out brilliant. Take for example their most recent ad for the iPhone 6s.

“The only thing that’s changed is everything.”

In other words, that $700 smartphone you bought less than a year ago is now obsolete. Time to get a new one, or so Apple hopes. (Don’t do it! It’s really not all that in my humble android opinion.)

It’s hard to believe that certain technologies that seem so amazing could so quickly end up being one of those posts on Facebook –

Like if you know what this is.

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Spiritual Hoarding

“Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]” (1 Cor. 13:8, AMP).

Love will go the distance now through eternity. But our now pixilated view of God will come into absolute glorious clarity when we stand in the presence of Jesus. And the exquisite gifts designed to help us see God more clearly will become obsolete.

Selah – pause and think about that.

What a moment that will be!

And then Paul adds this,

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (I Cor. 13:11, AMP).

Paul makes an excellent point when referring to Christian maturity. Why would we hang on to gifts – even spiritual gifts – that we no longer need? That would be like spiritual hoarding!

God is the ultimate gift giver and He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it.

Some gifts we hang on for a lifetime. Some are only meant for a season.

After marinating for a while in 1 Cor. 13:11 I began to reflect on my childhood – growing up physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Have I put away childish things or do I still have a few security blankets hidden in my closet?

Survival Gifts

Before I even knew God, He was there making good on His Psalm 139 promises. He was there when I was conceived by a couple of teenagers. He was there when I was in foster care. He was there planning and recording all the days of my life.

He was there… even in the house of rage.

He has always been there carefully and quietly wooing me to Himself and standing guard over my young life. Delivering care packages to the doorstep of my heart containing survival gifts woven into my DNA that would see me through long before I could recognize His presence and protection.

He gave me the survival gift of likeability.
Being liked was important to me. I became the “2nd daughter” in many of my friend’s homes. I became the babysitter friend of the family. I went the extra mile to be liked.

If I could be liked I could be loved. If I could blend in I could belong.

He gave me the survival gift of a stiff upper lip.
I needed to feel in control of something. I knew I couldn’t control the chaos (although I tried by tiptoeing around it). Something in my spirit soared just a little bit when I learned I could control my reaction to it. I could swallow my tears. I could put on an “unbroken” face. I could stuff my emotions and preserve my own dignity.

He gave me the survival gift of ambition.
Instead of giving up when I was told I would never amount to anything, I got busy. The need to prove something drove me to succeed. I became the first person in my adopted family and my birth family to graduate from college. After that, I worked hard to bubble to the top of every company I worked for.

Do just a little bit more. Be just a little bit better.

He gave me the survival gift of escape.
God gave me an incredible imagination. It provided a place I could go to leave the noise and chaos behind for a while.

God gave me all that I needed to grow up physically and then He gave me what I needed to grow up emotionally and spiritually.

What’s Changed?

I asked Jesus to take up residence in my heart in my first year of college.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, NKJV).

Borrowing a line from Apple’s playbook,

“The only thing that’s changed is everything.”

Those gifts that served me so well as a child no longer fit the woman that I’ve become in Christ.

I’ve outgrown them. It’s like trying to wear a size 2 pair of jeans when I need a size 10ish. They not only hinder my movement, they suffocate me.

I no longer need the approval of man because I am a daughter of the King. I belong to Him. I don’t have to be liked by everyone. I am accepted in the Beloved.

I no longer need to hide behind a stiff upper lip. I can join the ranks of humanity and share my brokenness.

I no longer need to prove anything. I can cease striving and learn to be.

I no longer need to escape. I can learn to be present.

Letting Go of Childish Things

I’m learning to let go but it’s hard.

I lived with those survival gifts so long that it’s hard to part with them. I tend to put them away like Christmas boxes in the attic and take them down every now and then.

How do I get them out of the house of my heart once and for all? Is it even possible?

You already know the answer to that, don’t you?

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NKJV).

I can’t. He can. So I’ll let Him.

I like this picture I’ve seen floating around Facebook.

jesus

It reminds me that I can’t receive what He wants to give me if my hands are full. I need to lay those survival gifts down and turn my open palms toward heaven and receive His abundant gifts for today…

Sunshine on my face.

A “good” cry.

Being present.

Hearing the sound of His voice.

Joyful walks.

Holding my husbands hand.

Being the mom I wished I had.

Laughing with friends.

Comfortable in my own skin.

A good cup of coffee.

Hope for tomorrow.

Serenity for today.

I can’t. He can. So I’ll let Him.

My part is to be willing. To stay in His presence. To be washed in the truth of His word. To pick up my cross and follow Him.

Trust Him.

Let go of childish things.

Time to Upgrade to the New You!

What obsolete gifts do you still cling to? How are they getting in your way of grasping the abundant gifts of today that we’re promised? How do they hinder the new you?

Would you be brave and bold and willing to lay them down and receive all that He has for you today?

Want to go deeper on today’s topic? Don’t for get to download the study guide and…

Don’t Forget to Share the Joy!

Growth

5 comments

  1. fenny says:

    Amen..God bless you Steph…i will be jobless by the end of this month it has been rough year for me..plse remember in your prayer..i have hope He will do something new in my life. He will remove old me..and make me new me. Thank you..I love you

    • Stephanie says:

      Dear Fenny, I’m doing Beth Moore’s study on the Patriarchs at church. While studying Abraham’s life, she reminded us that God never leads us “out” without a “to”. God is leading you to a new something even in your work. Praying for you dear sister.

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