It is a crisp morning in Texas. This is Saturday and Starbucks is crowded. I’m here for an appointment. I order my Vanilla Latte and miraculously find a table for two. I’m alone but expecting my appointment any minute. I take out my Bible and IPad as I wait. As I read, my appointment arrives. I don’t see Him but I feel His Presence. I’ve never felt anything so real. I’m not alone now – Jesus is here. He directs me to read. As I do, I feel life surging through me. NO, it is not the caffeine! It is something more.
I’m going to share with you His word this morning. I believe it will speak to you like it did me.
Those who enter into Christ’s presence no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when He sent His own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In His Son, Jesus, He personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. Man’s effort, not matter how valiant, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
These efforts always end up as a Band Aid for sin instead of healing it. And now what these efforts could not do is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s Spirit find the Spirit present – living and breathing out God. Obsession with self is a dead end; attention to God leads out into the open, into spacious freedom. Focusing on self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God – he ends up thinking more of self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God doesn’t like being ignored.
If God has taken up residence in your life by the Spirit, your focus is on Him. If you welcome Him-even though you still experience the limitations of sin-you will experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason that if God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus. When God lives and breathes in you, you are delivered from a dead life. With His Spirit living in you, you are as alive and favored and loved as Jesus!
You don’t owe your old life one more day of focus. There is nothing in it for you, nothing at all. The best you can do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things ahead for you – things to accomplish and places to go!