What freedom it is to live a life in Christ Jesus. To be unaffected by the judgement of others because of my confidence in Him. My rightness with my Father cannot be changed or challenged. They cannot disqualify me from His inheritance because of what I eat or drink. They cannot disqualify me from His glory due to rules regarding religious festivals, celebrations or days.
My right standing with God is locked in place. As I go through my days, I will not lose sight of this as others who are filled with personal pride boast of their ways and independence. They have cut themselves off of the body to stand alone and apart. How can a broken branch produce anything that is worth boasting about? How can a branch bear any fruit that is worth eating?
I have put to death my old life and with it worshipping man made rules, ideas and ways. All of this was comfortable to me like a well worn sweater. However, these man made rules, ideas and ways only dressed me in madness. They were all dressed up as things that give freedom or wisdom however the truth is they only kept me a slave to a sinful and selfish self. In my old life, I had broken off the vine. My root system was in soil that did not last, that was not nourished with anything that was stable. Circumstances changed constantly and with it so did my heart. No peace, no stability, no humility, no gentleness.
Thanks be to God, the Father of all things, for He has made the way for old life to be destroyed. I have and will continue to set my heart on things above, matters of Christ. My mind is being trained to focus on these things, not of man things. For it is in Christ, freedom reigns. When I set and keep my mind set on His ways, I am nourished with what my heart needs to fully become alive in a new self. He is my new life. His Spirit is in me. His mind He has generously and without conditions given to me for no other reason other than He loves me. How good my Father is.
What a road I use to walk. Glory to God for redirecting my path and graciously fitting my feet with new shoes. These beautiful heels of peace customized just for me. They lead me down this path I pursue with confidence. The path my steps once took led me to death. It took me to the land of anger, valleys of rage, seas of slander, mountains of malice and forests so thick with filthy language that stood for nothing. No substance in my words, no kindness in my thoughts. These places made me old. They turned my lips down, created creases in my face and blew out the twinkle in my eyes.
Oh but now - how awesome, how amazing this new path of life is. He is leading me into homes instead of houses. These places are renewing every part of me. As I grow in Him and with Him, I am being transformed little by little into His image - how divine. As I thrown off my old self, He stands with a smile ready to dress me with the garments He has chosen specifically for me. What splendor they offer, what warmth they provide, how rich they look! I cannot cast off the old self quick enough as I sprint forward into His mighty arms which hold His gowns of glory marked with my name.
He places on my head a crown of compassion. He drapes my body with a dress of kindness and covers my shoulders with a cloak of kindness that He firmly clasps together with a pendant of humility. He places a necklace so heavy in patience around my neck and dresses my hands with gentleness. Dressed in my new self, I go forward setting my mind to do my best to walk in the ways of my Father.
He has called me to peacefully press on. My old self only knew how to travel in chaos. This chaos no longer fits my new self. It’s restrictive and cuts into my body so I throw it in the garbage where it belongs. The peace of Christ floods my heart as I do so. I will continue forward wearing only this new self as my Father cheers me on and guides me when I start to stumble. I am thankful to the Lord God. I am determined to keep my mind fixed on songs that praise His name, His nature. My heart is forever grateful that He chooses me no matter how ugly my old life was to wear this new garment.
As I continue on, where ever I go or whatever I do it will be with thanksgiving to God. I will work with all my heart knowing that in every act I am serving Him. He has and will reward me with what He wants me to have if I can continue to wear this new self well. He is a faithful Father and provider. Therefore I will continue to work at devoting my mind and heart each day to prayers of thanksgiving. He has always supplied me with what I need. I will walk in this new self with joy and proclaim His goodness to others. He will open many doors for me to confidently walk through with clarity, grace and without chains. I will make the most of each opportunity He provides to let my new self shine and leave a trail of salt that draws others to Him. He will give me the words I need to deliver for Him. So I stand tall in my new self, dancing in my heels of peace, twirling in my dress of kindness and cloak of patience as I extend my hands gently to others to help lead them to the God of All who has a gown marked with their name waiting for them.