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Put Off Your Old Self

At CORM every last Friday of the month is our day of prayer and fasting. Every quarter we participate in a three day time of prayer and fasting. This typically begins on the last Wednesday of the month and ends on Friday. We end our time of fasting with all-night prayer on that Friday, midnight-4am.

The practice of fasting was not something I embraced until recently. I have begun to learn how to sit in the feeling of physical emptiness and dig into what it is that God wants to fill me up with. If you have never tried to fast for extended period of time, I encourage you to try it. We usually fast until 6pm each evening, and I totally allow myself a cup of coffee in the morning. I’m so glad this is a practice and no one is expecting perfection. It’s between you and Daddy God.

We just completed our quarterly three day fasting and all-night prayer on Friday. Our main focus this month was on the book of Galatians. Each day we made our way through two chapters. Going over what we were learning together during our 5:30am, noon and 5:30pm meetings. Times of filing ourselves with God’s word instead of filling ourselves with food.

Galatians 5:1 grabbed my attention this morning as I was revisiting everything God spoke to me these last few days.

IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off]. Galatians 5:1 (AMP)

Paul is speaking to the Galatians, a group of believers who have been convinced that they must be circumcised to truely be believers. Paul wants the people to understand that their salvation in Jesus Christ is reliant on one thing; their faith in Jesus Christ. Their salavation is not determined by what they do but only in their faith in Christ as their savior.

I feel like this scripture spoke so loudly to me because there have been so many times when I’ve questioned “Am I doing enough?” Although this question doesn’t come out of a place of questioning my salvation I do think it comes from a place of wanting to please God and connecting that desire with works. It is easy for me to think that God may find more pleasure in those who are doing more for His kingdom than He has with me.

These feeling of comparision do cause a yoke of self condemnation; of slavery, upon my heart and mind. Christ is calling me to be free, to stop returning to these old places of comparrison and wondering if I’m enough.

In Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul tells the poeple of Ephesus, “ …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. (ESV)

Since we are creatures of habit it is so easy to return to our old way of doing things. At times I allow my mind to wander back to those places where I operated out of before giving my life to Christ. That’s why it is so important to continue to renew my mind in the Word of God. To keep His word before me, so when I begin to compare myself with others or get down on myself when I feel like I’m not good enough His words of truth can remind me of who and whose I am.

Our freedom comes from Christ alone and it is His truth that sets us free. Living in realationship with Him, hiding His word in our hearts, allowing His word to search our hearts and resolving to live out our lives in obedience to Him - this is where our freedom from the old yokes is found.

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