In recent weeks I have been on a deep spiritual journey, one of asking questions and seeking answers through the Scriptures. My goal has been to wipe clean my presuppositions and try to look at God’s word as if I have never read it before. The questions that I have been asking were questions that I wasn’t even aware that I was asking, but allowing God to take me on a journey through His scripture and asking Him to identify the areas where He wants me to learn.
What is new life? This life in Christ that we are promised to be different from the one before has unknowingly caused me some strife. I look recall my lack of understanding, or my fear in identifying that I only have a “new life” in theory. In fact I have spent most of it suppressing my desires and hiding my shame from “secret sins”. New life was supposed to be defined by new language, new cloths, new activities and the exclusion of “world tainted” things. Even though some of my desires have changed, is seemed that I started to take on new ones that were supposed to cover the old ones up, however, they just laid hidden and very much alive.
The new life described by Paul in Romans is a exactly that, new. Do I believe the scriptures? Do I believe that I was crucified with Christ and that the flesh has been put to death and I am liberated from the bondage to sin that my flesh has held me in? Do I believe that I have been set free, free to live in the Spirit, subject to the will of God who promises to direct me on the path that leads to HIs will? If I do, then why am I holding on to those fleshly desires. There have been many excuses to why. We still live in the flesh, and we are sinners in need of grace, but part of this freedom has to be the freedom to choose right. We have been held captive by the flesh to be unable to choose anything other than wrong.
What does that mean for me? Well, it hit me this morning that human behavior has been studies, choices have been observed and we can now through algorithms and case studies predict human behavior and choices. Human nature has been proven to be predictable for the most part. This is not surprising, after all we are all subject to the flesh and naturally choose certain things based on that truth. This is exactly why human behavior patterns are known, because natural desires can be predicted without paying some genius to create a math equation to figure it out, after all, it is natural.
God has allowed us to break free from the natural. He has set us free from the “laws of nature” and created new behavior patterns that cannot be identified by human efforts. God has given us freedom from our own human desires, from the flesh, and allowed us to finally live in the spiritual. The spiritual, throughout human history, has not been able to explained or understood. This is freedom, this is new life! We no longer have to be subject to the temptations of culture. We no longer have to be held captive by desires to “fit in”, or choose based on natural stimuli. To be in this world and not “of the world” is to be outside of natural human desires and live in the Spirit. New life is a life without worry, a life without want, and a life without guilt. We have been given the opportunity to work for the Creator instead of against Him.
There is no doubt that the enemy is at work. I believe that one of His biggest tools is the deception that even though we are in Christ we fall subject to the same things. He brings those same old temptations in front of us, and then whispers in our ears, “This is still your weakness.” My answer can only be, “How can it be my weakness? I died to that.”
New life, new Master, new purpose. Free from sin, slave to Christ, subject to His will.