It was my junior year of high school. I was in Chicago on a one-week mission trip, and my team was tasked with doing various acts of outreach on the streets. We did everything from passing out meals to the homeless to visiting with the elderly in nursing homes. We loved and cared for strangers and had several evangelistic conversations each day. I had a boldness and bravery to approach anyone at any time with the love of Christ.
Maybe the Spirit filled me with an extreme measure of boldness that week. Perhaps I was just naïve and didn’t think about the dangers that may have been surrounding me on the streets of Chicago. It was probably a bit of both.
When I look back at that time in my life, I wonder “Why can’t I be like that now?” “What happened to me?” I often contemplate what prevents me from boldly sharing the love of God with others. Sometimes, my anxieties and worries get the best of me. Sometimes the devil gets me to believe I’m not as strong of a Christian anymore. Other times my focus is simply on myself and my own comfort.
Maybe you can relate. Have you looked back on a past time in your life when you seemed to be a better follower of Jesus? Or have you seen someone with a rock solid faith and hoped that someday you would share God’s love as freely as they do? Whether it’s reflecting on the past or hoping for the future, we can be tempted to overlook the present.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. -- Romans 6:6
The truth is that right now we are new creations in Christ Jesus. Right now God is transforming our lives and using us for the advancement of His kingdom. Yes, we want to follow Jesus the best that we can. However, Jesus doesn’t want us to beat ourselves up about how we used to be or who we wish we were. Our Lord calls us to confess that He currently works in our hearts and minds. Our Savior reminds us that He renews us each day by the power of His Holy Spirit.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -- Galatians 2:20
Right now, Christ lives in you. Right now the Spirit leads you to follow Jesus. Right now God holds you in His hands, and that’s where He wants you right now.
Written By: Vicar Alex Lahue
Posted on Tue, March 6, 2018
by Stacy Yates