Know Yourself That You May Know God
Encounter: Read slowly through Luke 4:1-14 in the Passion Translation and Ephesians 4:17-32. Underline word or phrases that describe the old self or false self.
With the temperatures dipping down around the freezing mark, our lake appears to be frozen especially back in our private cove. But when I walked around the edge of the frozen expanse and tapped my foot on the ice, I could tell by the little bit of give that it was not yet solid enough to stand on and it surely would not support my full weight. The interesting thing is that if I went on appearances, it looks inviting enough to grab my ice skates or take a stroll from one side of the lake to the other like the squirrel I watched earlier that morning.
Like a thin layer of ice, we see that appearances do not always tell the whole truth nor do they give us the solid ground to fully develop into mature followers of Christ. For many reasons, the conditions may have not been right in our lives to grow deeper and more solid in our true self in Christ as we move away from our old or false self. But this next year we can be open and intentional about that changing.
Paul tells us, “…he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self - life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you. And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness (Eph 4:22-24)
The problem is at times our false self has become such a part of who we are we do not realize it. Pete Scazzero writes in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, “The consequences – fear, self-protection, possessiveness, manipulation, self-destructive tendencies, self-promotion, self-indulgence, and a need to distinguish ourselves from others are harder to hide.” The other problem is just as Satan tried tempting Jesus to walk away from his true identity, we will experience the same testing. Our old self along with the enemy and the world will entice us to not make the journey to our true self.
Living into our God-given life, our true and new self takes time and the right conditions to grow deep and solid. It requires listening to God and trusted voices of those you are in community with to discern the unique purpose you have been created for. To look at your emotions and underneath the decisions and reactions to connect the dots will help you understand yourself better and how God is calling you do the deep work so that your true self is slowly unveiled over time and at the same time will reveal where things are not yet solid enough to walk on.
This Wednesday night begins our Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course. For eight weeks, in community, we will look at how Christ calls us to live faithful to our true selves. Click on the information in this week’s Renew to sign-up.
As Augustine prayed, “Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee.”
Lord help me to be still before you. Lead me to a greater vision of who you are, and in so doing, may I see myself – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Grant me the courage to follow you, to be faithful to become the unique person you have created me to be. I ask you for the Holy Spirit’s power to not copy another person’s life or journey but to live into who you have created me to be. For your kingdom sake, Amen
Why does this matter? Because the choices we make write the stories of our lives. What story will your life tell?
Journeying with you,
Reflect: How does Paul describe the old self/false self. How and with what does Satan try to entice our old or false self?
Encourage: Begin reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and discuss your process with a close friend or mentor. Journal and talk about what you are discovering.
Gather: Sign-up for the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course and gather with others to find encouragement for this essential journey.