We recently participated in a Bible discussion, but as verse 37 of John 12 seemed so obvious we intended to go on with our meditation to the following verses. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him. John 12:37.
However, it struck me deeply that while we read and to a certain extent criticise those during Jesus’ times who did not believe, we do not realise that we might be doing the same thing today.
We all came to Jesus with baggage of bad decisions and actions, traumatic experiences, scars from our upbringing, humiliation – so many sad stories– and Jesus received us as we were, aiming to transform us into someone new and whole.
Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing.(Isa 43:18-19)
This is the reality: Jesus has removed the shame and embarrassment of our past, has cleansed our physical and emotional wounds, opened our minds for greater things, freed us from the restrictions of religion, valued and renewed us – there are many beautiful testimonies of His living power and signs of His work.
But have you noticed how many times, when confronted with positive challenges, opportunities of great plans for the future, we still make excuses and revert to patterns of past behaviour?
Thoughts like: I grew up like this, I was always put last in my family, I was rejected, I don’t know who my father was, I did not have a family structure, I did not have any education, I never qualified for a good job, I don’t know how to speak properly, I don’t know how to dress, I am not beautiful, I am not wise – the list goes on and on and I am sure you have a list of your own.
We received His glory and riches when we received His nature through our New Birth and we received His power to be witnesses through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – we received royal gowns, my friend! And if you are still in the process, know that God is more than willing to seal you – even more able than you are of receiving His seal.
Every time we choose to resort to the excuses of our past, we exchange this gown for the rags we once dressed in. This could be the reason why you still have not had an experience with God.
Those rags made us weak and vulnerable, limited us, destroyed present and future plans, but God has made us strong giving us His nature and power.
• How long will we cling to the rags and not dress ourselves with His strength?
• How long will we live in weakness not choosing to embrace everything new He has done for us?
• How long will we limit God in our life and not use our testimony to reach others who are still dressed in rags of past experiences?
Jesus is doing so many things, but do you and I believe them? To believe is to put your all into it.