“Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.” (Colossians 3:9-11, MSG).
The Christian life is not for the unthinking person. In fact, a great deal of consideration goes into living the Christian life, as we are reminded in Scripture to daily renew our minds (See Romans 12:2). There are some simple principles to living the satisfied life: First, we must understand that our thought patterns are the roadmap of our lives. Second, our tongues are the rudder which steers us; and third, how we see ourselves – our identity – will determine our path of success, or failure.
The book of Job provides evidence of this. Job was a righteous man, who was very wealthy and had ten children. Daily, the kids would hang out together and feast and celebrate. Job, worried that over the course of these get-togethers his children might curse God, offered sacrifices for each of them. If you’re familiar with the story, you know what soon happened. Satan came before the Lord and suggested that if all he had was taken away, Job would curse God and die. God knew Job’s character but allowed Satan to test him.
In a single day, tragedy struck. All of Job’s children were killed and his wealth taken away. In chapter 3, as Job processed his misfortune, he realized, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25, NIV). SPOILER ALERT: In the end, God rewarded Job with ten more kids and double his previous wealth. But you’ll have to read the story for yourself.
It is true, what we think about, we talk about; we mumble under our breath; we murmur and roll it around in our minds, over and over. It is here we must define our identity. We must remember that God has “plans to prosper us and not to harm us.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Faith takes hold of God’s Word and declares it regardless of the circumstances; it is then we must remember how He sees us and allow our thoughts to be aligned with His way of thinking. For instance, if you struggle with condemnation over some failure, consider this:
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.” (Isaiah 43:25-26, NKJV). To be acquitted means simply to have all the charges dropped and your record expunged. Taking it further, a believer is called blessed. The Greek term for this, “Makarios” means, “Fortunate, well off, happier…” In the Beatitudes, this means, “receiving God’s favor regardless of circumstances – to be “fully satisfied.”” (www.biblestudytools.com)
More next week!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.