Posted by: Joe Palmer | July 24, 2009

STARTING OVER


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Starting Over

By Joe Palmer

Everyone wants to start over on sometime. We would like to have a second chance at something. There is the successful business man that wishes he could start his marriage over. There is the student who wishes he could start a class over. The mother or father who wishes they could go back and change the way they allowed a child to behave in his formative years.

Why don’t we? Frankly, we don’t know how. We don’t think we can. We have tried and it didn’t work. Perhaps we made a new year’s resolution, or some other vow that we will change, only to find that changing is hard. We have to overcome habits. We are faced with self doubt. We are drowning in a feeling of hopelessness, because all around we look and see a mess so big that we aren’t sure we can clean it up. We think in our hearts, “If I could just start over.” Christ promises us that. He called it being born again when he spoke to Nicodemus. Paul says in II Cor. 5:7, “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Some people get discouraged because they become Christians and they think that suddenly their marriage is going to be solid, their addiction will be gone, the guilt will no longer haunt them. Unfortunately that isn’t the way it works.

In fact many people have left the faith because of this false notion. They began the Christian walk thinking that the starting point was the finish line. They began with such hope and confidence, and then found that Satan attacked them and quickly overcame them. They failed so quickly, and now they doubt their faith, their conversion, Christ and that all of this Christianity business even matters.

We are described by scriptures as being babes in Christ. That is an appropriate term. You see a baby is an undeveloped human. It has lots of potential. It is innocent and beautiful, but it isn’t a mature adult. As Christians we are free from the bondage of sin, but we aren’t mature. So what is the process of transformation?

Paul describes the process in Romans 12:1, 2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Here are the steps we will follow if we adhere to the Holy Spirits plan.
1. Understand that we can’t direct our own life so we must fully submit to the authority of Christ in all things. “Present our bodies a living sacrifice.”
2. Understand that the world through Satan’s power has darkened our mind and deceived us to the point where we don’t always even recognize that we are in sin. “Do not Conform.”
3. Begin the process of change by reprogramming our mind with the power of God’s word. In this process we learn God’s will for our life in what he doesn’t want us to be, and what he does want us to be. “Be Transformed”
4. The goal is spiritual maturity. Ultimately we are developing the mind of Christ. This allows us to know God’s perfect will for our life. This is a process that will continue until we die. “That we might prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

Let me make two suggestions as you go through this journey. Forgive yourself and allow yourself time to grow. Don’t give up, just keep submitting to the authority of Christ as you learn it and grow. Also, don’t be too hard on others; love them, pray for them, and teach them, as we grow together.

Joe Palmer

Niceville, Florida

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