Monday, February 10, 2014

Needing Change

I went to an out-of-state college that was a good 12-hour drive from home.

While I can positively say beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt that God led me to this college for a myriad of reasons, I can also see how God used one of my wrong motivations for His purpose in this decision.

Looking back, it's crystal-clear, but hindsight is 20-20.

I think I was still living somewhat under the law of performance (checklist style -- do this, do that) because I was not deep-down content with anything in my life: 

Why do I always do that? This relationship needs work; that relationship needs help. Ahhh, why do I botch every relationship I have with everyone?!?!

Escape! Change! I need change!

Yes, but I had it all wrong. I thought I needed to get out, get away, and start over. A clean slate and a new location was the change I thought would be the answer. I was running from my old life, thinking that then I'd be free to have a fresh, new do-over, per se.

Boy, was I wrong.

Change was the answer -- but a new environment and new people were not what needed changing. It was me. Moving away just gave me more relationships to botch. I was the problem. I mess everything up no matter where I am or who I am with.

I realize this my final year of college, of course, when I found myself asking the exact same questions before I left home: Why do I always do that? This relationship needs work; that relationship needs help. Ahhh, why do I botch every relationship I have with everyone?!?!

I wanted to escape this constant, daily struggle I was having with my sin nature. I was tired of it and wanted to get rid of it! Over time, I came to realize several things:
  1. As long as I am living on this present earth, then this constant struggle is inevitable. 
  2. I now have even more reasons to long for Heaven and be free from this inner turmoil.
  3. I boldly and immensely thank the LORD Jesus for setting me free from the bondage to myself and always doing what my sin nature desires and cravings! 
  4. Because Jesus has set me free from this slavery to self, I now have a choice. Not just once, but every day -- the daily dying to self. [With every decision, I could feel this intense battle going on inside me. While my sin nature response use to be really loud, convincing, and, well, natural, the more I chose to follow the Spirit's leading, the more natural that response became. The Word quickly pops into my mind, and by His grace and empowered by the Spirit, my flesh response has lost a lot of its old appeal (that, and I know that the end result is never good and what I ultimately want). Not that I always choose rightly by any means, but the battle is less intense and less hard (usually) ;)]
Anyway, realizing all this, I see everything, everyone else is not the problem, I am the problem.
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~ Romans 7:25
I am changing! And that is changing everything else!
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18