I recently moved to a new apartment on the other end of town with a roommate just this Saturday. For the past few days, I’ve been constantly having to remind myself where to take the exit. You see, I have two options. I could go east (where I used to live) or I could go west (where I currently live). Both are the same interstate in the beginning, but the East takes you on a totally different path going the opposite direction in the end.
I’ve taken the wrong way.
Twice. It’s only Tuesday.
Turning around, I have to remind myself “Sara, you don’t live there anymore”.
Yesterday I said out loud to myself as I was driving, “Sara, go west”. I still went the wrong way.
Why is it so hard?
This brings me back to a sermon I heard. The pastor, Matt Chandler, was talking about the same scenario. He said that he had recently moved and had to go down the same street he did for his old house, but then had to turn right instead of left at a stop sign. He said many times he would get to his old house, get out, get to the door, and feel totally ridiculous standing at the door of his old house with his new keys.
I don’t live here anymore! he exclaimed, then why on earth am I still coming here?!
He said he had to remind himself when he got to the stop sign “You don’t live there anymore, turn right.”
That’s what we do in our spiritual lives isn’t it? We know Jesus and He shows us a new Home. He shows us a new way of thinking and feeling and operating… and instead of turning “left” to our habits, we now turn “right” to His way, to the new home He gave us- our new habits, new person, new creation, and new heart.
But every now and again when we first start out on our Journey with Him, or when our hearts grow hard or we fall away for a little bit… we end up turning left instead of right. We go our way instead of His. We end up in front of our old habits and attitudes with keys that don’t fit the lock. Those roles aren’t for us anymore. We’ve been made new. We’ve been given a new “key”… a new heart… We don’t “live” there anymore.
Then, as time continues we gradually no longer have to remind ourselves of our residence. Our habit becomes going right. We become comfortable at our new home. We walk in through the door and let our hair down, take our coats off, and turning left becomes a thing of the past. It becomes a memory.
This is my life in Christ.
It’s my biggest struggle. He’s given me a new way to live, think, and breathe and I’m constantly turning to my old ways instead of His new ways. I’m constantly going left instead of right. My mistakes are endless, my ways of thinking keep going back to past habits, what was once comfortable for me is becoming comfortable for me again. Now that I have recognized my error, when I hit that crossroad, when I have old thoughts… I have to sometimes physically, verbally remind myself “Sara you don’t live there anymore”; “Sara, you’re a new creation”, “He’s given you a new heart”, “He’s given you a new way of thinking”
He’s given me the power to break every stronghold through His spirit.
He’s given me the ability to take EVERY thought captive to Christ!
When I take those thoughts captive to Him, I’m choosing Him. I’m “turning right”.
I’m going Home.
“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB)