This one hits me in the gut every time. Why?
Because we are Barabbas.
As we prepare for the new year, you may be thinking about how you will live differently. Maybe you will eat healthier, join a gym or start that book you always wanted to write. Whatever it may be there is one common factor – change. Jason Vallotton shares insight on how repentance does not just mean to say “you’re sorry,” but rather it means to turn and change the way that you think.
Discover more about Emotional Prosperity at bethel.tv/emotionalprosperity
August 17, 1999 is my spiritual birthday. It marks a day 19 years ago that Jesus came into my life. But, truth be told, I didn’t begin walking into the light from my darkness until August of 2009. Having dealt with an addiction to pornography for 13 years of my life, I found that for many years I only “thought” that I had really given my life to Christ and began to trust him. But I hadn’t gone all the way.
No matter the addiction or issue of the heart, choosing to trust God completely with it doesn’t come in one single decision. It comes in a series of decisions that you make on a daily basis. I discovered that it wasn’t enough to simply “claim” Jesus as my Savior. How could I “follow” Jesus and yet still be addicted to porn?! I really wasn’t ready to fully surrender because in truth, I still enjoyed my sin and didn’t want to give it up.
Fast forward to 2009. As my decisions and behaviors began to change, I began to change. My heart began to change. One major lesson I’ve learned is that trusting God IS risky. Being vulnerable with other men IS risky. Why? Because Jesus promises us that NOTHING will be the same when our hearts, minds, and our lives are completely His. In Ephesians 4:23-24, Paul writes that we are to be “made new in the attitude of our minds” and to “put on” a new self so that we might become like God.
As much as we like to think that we like new things in life, at the deeper core of our beings we often cherish the old things. We love what we’ve been used to. These things bring us comfort (or what we fool ourselves to think is comfort). For so many people, trusting God with their lives is terrifying. Because it means change. It means different. Trust implies more than a decision. Because if I’m going to trust God completely, it means I must do the following:
- Let go of what’s familiar and comfortable (sin, habits, addiction, destructive behaviors, etc.)
- Embrace the reality of grace (God can forgive you and help you with your mess!)
- Understand that by trusting God you must begin to trust other people!
If I were to be totally honest, I would say that I’m still learning to trust God completely on a daily basis. This also works in conjunction with how much I’m willing to trust other people as well. One last question: If I’m afraid to trust others and be vulnerable, what does that say about my ability to trust God?
While there are times it’s harder to trust God than other times, I think it’s in the most difficult moments that we harvest the greatest fruit. Our greatest harvesting tool is trust. And the fruit of trusting God is His perfect peace.