But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. –Ephesians 4:20-24
Do you ever feel like you’ve blown it and blown it big? Have you ever just felt like giving up on even trying to walk with God? Maybe with all you’ve done, all you’ve been involved in, you are afraid others will call you a hypocrite for even trying to get close to God? You think, “Maybe when I get my act together, I can try then.”
So many people feel this way. I remember a few years back. I had fallen out of going to church regularly. I felt pretty self-conscious when I tried to go back. I worried over what others would think. I entertained the thought of just giving up and living life my way. After all, sleeping in on Sunday was easy. And comfy.
What I had to realize was all that matters is what God thought about me. And you know what? Pulling people from the pits of sin is His specialty! The truth is you can never fall too far, rip your britches too badly, or make too big of a mess that our Almighty Father cannot pull you out, dust you off, and put you to work for His kingdom!
In this passage in Ephesians, Paul was writing to the people of Ephesus, to encourage them in their walk with Christ. He reminds us that we are corrupt and our sinful ways are not what we learn in Christ. We are meant for more. But ultimately, we are sinners. We have a sinful nature that draws us in and encourages us to sin. Paul says we are to throw off our sinful nature. To be renewed in our mind and spirit, and put on a new self that is devoted to God and His ways.
How do you do this? Through prayer, reading your Bible regularly, and staying in fellowship with other believers. You can do it! You can throw your old, sinful ways out with the help of our Father. Does that mean you will never sin again? Certainly not. A Christian life is a life of constant striving to be Christ-like. We will never find that ultimate state of perfection. Only He is perfect. But you will grow. Will get better at saying no to sin. And when you fall, you will have even more desire to seek Him and get back on track.
As you begin this weekend, commit to putting away your sinful nature. Commit to walking in God’s ways. Commit to living for Him. Every day. It’s never too late for God to use you. You are never too far gone! God has a plan for you. A great plan. Far better than you can imagine for yourself. You only need to be obedient, draw to Him, and follow his direction.