As followers of Christ, we are called to walk by faith and not by sight. Easier said than done. I desired, more than anything else as a new believer to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). However, I struggled with the tension between my old self and the new self I was called to be in Christ. I quickly learned that the only way I could renew my mind daily was to feed on the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to set my mind on the things above.
I had always sought success in my career by focusing on the world’s standards. I looked for acceptance and value in my work, but I leaned on my own performance, and I often felt let down. But Christ was teaching me that if I seek first his kingdom, he will provide for all my needs. As I follow Jesus, he gives me the true success that I always longed for.
By God’s mercy and grace and one step at a time, I am learning to leave behind my old self, old habits, and old patterns of sin and embrace my new self in Christ. Jesus gave me a new heart and put a new spirit within me (Ezekiel 36:26). The more worldly things I choose to leave behind, the more life I can have in Christ. And the closer I grow to Christ, the more I am reminded that I can only fulfill my purpose if I walk in the freedom found in him. When we trust our hearts to our Savior, he cares for them better than we ever could. In his presence, our hearts are transformed, restored, and healed.
As I embraced my calling as a follower of Christ, I realized that before I could run with endurance the race God set before me, I had to allow his Word to shape my heart, thoughts, and desires even when it meant I needed to leave behind things I once held dear. Jesus has overcome sin and death, so through him we can break every chain that holds us back. Gently the Holy Spirit teaches us to follow the command in Hebrews 12:1: “Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
But how can we do that when life gets busy and when there are distractions everywhere? Daily I need to remind myself that in Christ, I am free and make the conscious decision to walk in his freedom each day. Even when it is hard, Jesus reminds me that I don’t always need to be strong because his grace is sufficient for me, for his power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The Word of God is where I truly find again and again all that I need to pursue God’s purposes for my life. The sanctification process takes effort and a whole lot of being still and knowing that he is God. Psalm 119:105 teaches us that the word of God is a lamp for our feet and through his Word, we can learn what it means to walk in true freedom. As I strive to actively apply God’s Word in my life, I witness that it indeed has power to change us. We can all experience growth as we receive the implanted word with meekness (James 1:21-22).