Less than a week left until [RE]volution YOU is released as an e-book! I’m so excited to share this with you all so soon!
In the meantime, please feel free to check out [RE]volution YOU’s Facebook and Twitter for updates and more details. I have also created a Facebook e-book release event [here] so feel free to join that as well!
I thought I would share a little bit from chapter ten of [RE]volution YOU as an additional sneak peek into what the e-book is all about. In case you missed the post on chapter one – here is a link to that post as well. Enjoy!
Chapter 10 – [RE]live.
Relive? Yes. While there is no way to turn back time and actually relive the past [and correct our mistakes], we can change the way we choose to live from this moment onwards. In retrospect, there are so many things I wish I had done differently in my college years. So much so, that often times I used to desperately imagine how much better off I would be today if I’d just done things differently. But, the past cannot be undone. And I have finally come to realize that every experience I have ever had — good or bad — has led me to this moment in my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone through what I did.
While I still sometimes wish I could change the past, I know now that it would be pointless. Because everything I went through then has become a crucial part of my testimony today.
The moment I chose to rededicate my life to Christ, I knew I was going to have to make some critical lifestyle changes. I suddenly felt convicted about the way I had been living, and felt the need to ask God’s forgiveness for my sins all over again. It’s important to note that no matter how badly you’ve messed up, God is more than willing and able to forgive you. He wants you to live a life of passion and purpose, but you can only do so if you choose to let him lead you. And you can only let him lead you if you have been truly changed — transformed — from the inside out.
How can you tell if you’ve been truly transformed in this way? Easy. You will earnestly desire to live a life that is pleasing to God — free from all the sinful ways of your past. It’s one thing to say you want to make a change, and a completely different thing to actually do it. Real change requires real action. Take my story for example. When I decided to rededicate my life to Christ and change my life around, I would have gained nothing if I didn’t back up those words with actions. Simply stating I wanted to make changes didn’t guarantee a real change — I had to act on it, and be proactive about seeing those changes come about in my life.
Jesus gave his life so that we might have the option of receiving eternal life. We have the opportunity for all our sins to be forgiven, and the promise of eternal life in heaven. Too often we see this message of grace, receive it, and then go about our daily lives as we always have — not making any real or lasting changes. While there is nothing we can physically do to earn our salvation, that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to live life any way we please; relying on the fact that we are saved. Since God will always forgive, some fall into the trap of thinking they can do whatever they want, live however they choose, and call themselves true followers of Christ. This simply does not line up with the word of God. It’s not an easy thing to hear, but it is essential.
The problem with this way of thinking is that a truly changed individual does not choose to live in their sin anymore, but has a desire to live their life in a way that is pleasing to God. If we truly have been transformed, we will desire to turn away from the sins of our past, not turn back to them. We cannot truly encounter Jesus without being radically changed in some way, shape or form. That’s the beauty of life in him — it is so much better than anything we have ever experienced in the past. Romans 6:1-2 says, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Paul is speaking the truth through these words. While no one is perfect, and despite our most valiant efforts we will inevitably sin sometimes, there is a difference between actively seeking out sin and occasionally falling into it unintentionally. Galatians 5:13 says, “You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
While I was seeking the Lord regarding this chapter, he led me to countless passages on this topic. Each passage had something to do with choosing to participate in holy, uplifting activities, instead of those that we used to enjoy when living in sin. In fact, living a changed lifestyle, free from the bondage of sin, is mentioned in nearly every book of the New Testament. I knew this was important, but I had no idea how critical it was to the Christian life. I would encourage you to seek out the scriptures on this topic, and ask God to show you its importance. I could spend countless pages attempting to convince you of the importance of true change, but sometimes finding it in the word of God for yourself is the only way for it to truly hit home.
Before any of us came to Christ, we were at first slaves to our sin. John 8:34-36 says, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” When we are living a lifestyle of sin, we eventually will become slaves to that sin. This may sound strange, but bear with me for a moment. When we are constantly living in sin, that sin begins to control and dominate our words, thoughts, actions and deeds. The choices we make are dictated by the lifestyle we live, and if that lifestyle is sinful, then our choices will be governed by sin — thus causing us to be in bondage to it. But, when we come to new life in Christ, we no longer have to be slaves to our sin. Jesus offers us truth and freedom from the lies and bondage of the sins which have ensnared us in the past. When given the choice between slavery and freedom, why would we ever choose anything but freedom? The gift of new life in Christ is too great a gift to ever pass up. Even though it may not be easy, or popular, we need to allow Jesus to come in and change us from the inside out.