Part 1: LISTEN TO GOD AS NEW CREATIONS RE-CREATED IN HIS IMAGE!
Here’s an audacious thought?
THE REDEEMED VERSION OF OURSELVES ISN’T HINGED TO OUR PAST!
No one experienced this unhinged reality more abruptly than the Apostle Paul. From a sordid past of murder and religious zeal, his listening skills were revolutionized by Jesus. His past mindsets & perspectives were transformed. From that point forward, Paul pursued a new way of thinking, a new way of decision making and a new way of using his emotions. He became radically unhinged from his past.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply . . . fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion…”Genesis 1:27-28 ESV
Fast forward to the first century AD. The Apostle Paul writes the following:
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.II Corinthians 5:16-19a NIV
Problem: Listening to God through the filter of our past is the problem. It’s a disconnect from the spiritual reality of being new creations in Christ. Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). From this perspective and revelation Paul writes:
We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely give us.I Corinthians 2:12 NIV
Think with me now. We have a relationship with our past. But as we relive and rethink our past behaviors, decisions, and experiences, our relationship with our past changes. Our relationship with the Holy Spirit and God’s Word gives us life-giving reference points.
We are able to put the past in a redeemed perspective. We view ourselves as new creatures in Christ. New thinking circumvents old ways of thinking. Unhinged from the thinking processes and priorities of our past, we rejoice. Through a mind continually tutored by the Holy Spirit, we become learned in ‘who we are in Christ’. From God’s point of view as someone recreated in the image of Christ, we see ourselves and our future differently. And we listen differently!
The gravitational pull of our past loses ground and we gain a fresh footing into hearing what’s on the heart of God, our Father through the person of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus intended.
(For additional study of the Holy Spirit, see John 14, 15 & 16)