Out with the OLD, In with the NEW
If you’ve been following my faith posts the past few weeks (and I know I took off a week last week because we ended up visiting my in-laws’ church…and I didn’t take very good notes, but our church took a break from the series the same weekend), you know that my church is currently in a series called “HGTV Life.” This week, we continued the series with “Holmes on Homes: Out with the Old, In with the New.”

I think I may have watched Holmes on Homes maybe once. The basic premise of the show is that Mike Holmes takes a deeper look at stuff in our homes that may look alright at a glance. Once he goes below the surface, he’s usually able to see what’s really going on…and it’s usually not pretty (I mean, if it were – would there really be much to talk about?). He then spends the remainder of the show deconstructing and rebuilding the space.

The same exact thing can be said of us. When most of us accepted Jesus Christ, we weren’t really expecting God to overhaul our lives. But, God always has bigger plans for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves…and if we’re going to reach our final destination, demolition and reconstruction will always involved.

Much like Mike Holmes, when God takes on us as a project, he digs below the surface. He peels off the old so he can then rebuild the new…so he can develop our character to more align with his son. Sure he could just give us a checklist of things we need to change, but he gave us the 10 Commandments years ago and we still struggle with that…it’s just not that easy.
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:8-10
If we are truly following Jesus, we simply cannot continue to live the way we used to live because we’ve been given a new identity. But, even with this new identity, our brain takes a while to catch up. If our brain even has a chance of catching up, we have to think differently…which means our minds have to be renewed.
Country Roads - Old is Gone RS
What we choose to believe (everything from sports teams to political issues) will shape our attitudes…it will also shape the way we behave towards other people, things and issues. Just because you have accepted Jesus, doesn’t mean that your beliefs will automatically change…or that your beliefs are accurate. Over time, God will strip away the lies threaded so deeply in our minds and replace them with truth. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Matthew 4:1-10 tells the story of how Jesus was tempted…and how he handled temptation: 
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (vs. 1-3)
Every temptation is threaded in a lie. It’s completely natural (because we are human) to want to meet our own needs regardless of God’s plan for us. We’re kinda selfish that way…and we’ve convinced ourselves that God wants us to be happy. When we face these kinds of lies, we have to be prepared for truth. We all have stories where we met our own needs, but in the end, we are all still left unfulfilled (ex. relationships we thought were meant to be).
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (vs. 4-7)
Our #1 character flaw is that we often feel the need to prove ourselves – we feel like we should get credit for what we do or have done. We apply this attitude to God and think that he should also prove himself…prove that he exists, prove that he cares, prove his love, etc. But he doesn’t need to prove anything and we should never test that.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (vs. 8-10)
It’s also tempting to try to win through compromise (worshiping the world rather than God). If we just do _______________, we can have all _____________. For me, I immediately thought of all the conversations I’ve had with working professionals about their career path (part of my day job) – so many of us think that if we can just get to the next pay grade…just get that promotion…just put in more time this week/year, that we’ll have it made. But when does it pay off? Does it ever pay off? This is one of the biggest temptations and the biggest lie we face in our lives…it never stops, but we can only serve one God.

With all that said, I know that many of you don’t read these posts because they are a little long, but they are part of my weekly reflection on the Word. For those of you that are still with me…what is God stripping away in your life? How are you being renewed? And what is the biggest lie you’ve had to face lately?
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19 COMMENTS

    Love this Ashley! You really know how to break it down for us!

    I feel like God is telling me I’m too busy. I’m too busy to do anything good for Him. So he’s slowing me down. A sickness is going through our house one person and a time and I’m having to cancel plans left and right because of it. But it’s caused me to S..l..o..w..d..o..w..n! and it’s really beneficial for us.

    Slowing down has renewed me and I feel like I have a second wind now, one that I can use to really serve Him.

    Thanks for sharing this with us <3

    I love that you do these posts. :)

    Like Christy Peffly I am also having the brakes put on and slowing down. I’ve simplified my calendar as much as I can but the place where I’m really noticing Him slowing me down is in Bible Study. I’m doing BSF this year (I just wrote a blog post about it… going live later in the week) and through it I’ve learned Homiletics which is a very slow, systematic study of the Word and it’s rocking my world. :)

    “If we are truly following Jesus, we simply cannot continue to live the way we used to live because we’ve been given a new identity. But, even with this new identity, our brain takes a while to catch up. If our brain even has a chance of catching up, we have to think differently…which means our minds have to be renewed.”

    AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.

    I am constantly having to pray 2 Cor. 10:5 “5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

    My thoughts (my mind) is constantly needing to be renewed and set on things above. Thankfully, life is a journey.

    I love these posts of yours, and read all the way to the end! :) I think God is constantly trying to teach me patience and grace with my kids. I need to learn (and relearn) that God is in control of how they grow up, not me. I am there to love them and provide them with the same patience and grace the Lord provides to me. With 2 little ones, this seems to be a daily challenge for me.

    I was so afraid that at the beginning you were saying “out with old” as in you weren’t planning to do these posts any more. Glad that was not the direction.

    God is constantly teaching me new things and I definitely need to work on my priorities, but I went through a time lately where the lies were too high, I almost lost track of the Rock. Thankfully God broke through that, but I did write a blog post about it…it’s kind of long for a comment. (On my family blog). http://joyfulmamagivesin.blogspot.com/2011/09/arms-of-god.html

    I always read and LOVE these posts. I think right now I am in a place where I am realizing that I got so busy trying to help everyone that it started to drown out the voice of the One I thought I was serving. I am realizing that I need to be quiet and listen for what He actually wants me to be doing right now. As always, I am a work in progress ;)

    I have been loving your faith posts! You really do break it down.. digging it!

    I love that scripture too!

    That is something i struggle with, i feel the need to prove myself. It is something im working on and i have gotten better with it. But its still something i struggle with, i just dont ever want to apply that to god. But i actually know someone who does. Its sad.. I am going to share this post with her.

    My faith has taken a few hits but its still there.. What is the scripture faith the size of a mustard seed? yeah mine has been there a few times.

    Thank you for sharing this girl. I love reading these.

    Lovely post!

    Kissses.

    I try to read all of these Ashley too. My biggest temptation is that of being so busy that my quiet time and devotional time starts to suffer. Satan loves to keep us busy! And it’s a daily challenge.

    Keep up the faith posts.

    I believe God is trying to teach me to trust Him more. I am a control freak and there are just some things you can’t control. I’ve come to realize my need for control is because of fear. Fear for my children’s lives and their health, fear of our financial stability, fear for our country. Funny thing is i didn’t even realize it was fear when i started writing this comment. Thank you for challenging us to seek our Savior more =)

    i love your faith posts.. I read them all the way to the end! For me a daily challenge is trying to be myself.. I find its easy to get trapped into what I think I should be and trying to hard to please others.. like sometimes it really bugs me when someone doesn’t like me, like at work or something and I think its me and I’ll start to get down on myself.. luckily I have a husband who constantly uplifts me and then I read some favorite verses of mine and I remember that the only one I live for and the only one I should be pleasing is my Lord & Saviour….

    I do really like these posts. It gives me something to ponder over the week. I’m not sure if I’m being stripped down or finally realizing that some of what used to be important (worldly items) are not anymore and I am giving them up. So much harder than I realized it would be, but less really is more.

    I read it! all of it:). This sounds like another great series at your church and I really enjoyed the way you recapped the message. I agree with all that you have said here about the process of renewing our minds. Out with the old and in with the new! In this season with Joey just about everything I have material is being stripped away, job, financial security, possessions, marital peace etc. and through it all God has simply shown me that He is more than enough. That really, I am not here for things or people, but, to bring glory to the King and to worship Him with my life in and out of season. That’s what I have been learning:)

    Ashley,

    I love your insight and your posts on “faith”. I do believe it is true that He has bigger plans for us than we do for ourselves…we just have to allow Him to “do his work”. Also, every time I read one of your posts or visit your blog I am humbled and thankful (I know you know what I am talking about…thanks for your kind spirit:)

    Tiffany

    I made it to the end and want to tell you it was a wonderful post. It reminds me of a quote I just e-mailed to my son ‘To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.’ When God takes something from your grasp, He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better…’The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.’

    God has been working on me in so many areas… not all of it easy, of course…but part of it is showing me how important it is to include Him in the first part of my day… great post.

    Oh Ashley, I’m so glad I read this post tonight. I didn’t realize you were doing this series and now I’m gonna go back and check them all out. Please continue to do them, I don’t think you realize the impact your words have on others :)
    As leavesnbloom said, I struggle with constantly being busy.. so much so that it leaves little time for my quiet time, self reflection and spiritual growth.
    Gosh, thank you so much <3

    Oh heart! :) I think these posts can make a bigger impact than what you realize. :) keep up shining Jesus!

    Amen! Thank God he does strip away each layer and remold us more and more into him image! And praise God he is patient as we continually struggle against his work…

    Oye! Good questions. TRUST has been a big key word in my life lately. I say I trust God…. So when times got tough (and still are) do I really trust God? Ouch! He’s been gently pulling at me, to really get close… To really let go and leave my worries, my plans, my desires at his feet. And wow, not only have I learned more to let go and TRUST, but God has been working miracles in my family they may never had happened if trouble didn’t come knocking.

    Xoxo
    Chell

    Great post, Ashley! I love that Holmes on Homes show..and this message. When you attempt to find happiness in possessions and worldy things, you’ll never find it. It’ll never be as fulfilling as a relationship with Christ. Well said.


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