God, I Promise! I Mean It This Time!

God, I Promise!  I Mean It This Time!  Really…Seriously…I Do!

How many of you have been caught on that hamster wheel of desperation, guilt, more promises, more failure, and…what’s the use, anyway?  I’ll just never be a good Christian.  I’ll never be what God wants me to be.

What so many Christians don’t realize is this:

We are not transformed by making promises to God.  We are transformed by the promises He makes to us!

So stop promising God stuff!

I’m not talking about the committed actions that take place from a place of love in our hearts.  I’m not talking about a “care-less” attitude and lifestyle.  I’m addressing the truth that has the actual power to transform [reshape] a person. 

The English word transform in Romans 12:1-2 is related to the word that describes a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.  According to that Scripture, the transformation [becoming the butterfly] takes place from the ongoing process of renewing the mind [changing what we consider true and real].

The Holy Spirit does the work of transformation.  We simply consider as true and real what the Holy Spirit says that Jesus became for us…on our behalf…without any help from us.  We embrace the truth.  We consciously rest in Jesus as the accomplisher of our great salvation.  The transformation begins taking place from the inside out as a result.  We transform from “caterpillars to butterflies.”

Here’s just a small sample of those “embraceables:”

  • He was made righteousness in my place and given to me as a gift.  Therefore, I no longer have to try to be a righteous person by making promises to God.
  • He was made purity in my place and given to me as a gift.  Therefore, I no longer have to try to be pure and holy by making God promises that I will try harder next time.

The Word of God is full of invitations to experience a new life.  However, it’s not about reading the verses of conduct and promising God you will do your best to do – or not do that again.  It’s not about promising you will be something you are not yet.  It’s about consciously embracing what He’s said you already are in Jesus. Resting in it as a finished work through your union with Jesus.  Therefore, becoming – from the inside out – what your attention is fixed upon.

Gary