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?
If you would like to hear the original message, click HERE.