The Lump I Use To Be
I am a new lump, and I’m so glad I’m not who I was. I guess a good many of us could actually say that. But I’m REALLY glad I’m not who I was!
Thinking back on it, as I’m sure many people my age do, I mourn over the lost years. You know, the ones I did not fully give to God. I often wonder how things would have been different, and what good God could have done through my obedience.
But those years are gone. Like the vapor that life is, it’s gone and there’s nothing I can do about that. I just have to go on from here and hope that God can use me as much now.
Living With Your Past
I don’t know about you, but I’ve done a few things I’m not very proud of, to be honest. No…to be truly honest, I’d have to say I’ve done a LOT of things I’m not proud of. But that is one of the first things satan will use against you every chance he gets.
Don’t let him.
If you read through the Bible, you will find, as I did, that God didn’t choose perfect people. He didn’t choose people who had never made a mistake. Nor did he pick those who were perfect. You know why? Because they don’t exist!
Oh, we think they do. We see people who have it all, we think. They’d be so much better at doing [fill in the blank] than I would. I shouldn’t even try, because why would God choose me?
The fact is, you don’t know what the person living next door might have done in their past. What they might have been through. What they might still be struggling with. And another fact it, it’s none of your business anyway. God told us to love. Period. No stipulations, no numbered lists. Just love ’em. He’ll take care of the rest.
So, yeah, we might have a past, you and I. But that doesn’t mean we have to braid it into a rope and hang ourselves with it. Greater is He who is in us! And thank God for that!
God Can’t Do What?
So, what’s in your past that you think you just can’t get over? I’ll be happy to listen to your story, I really would. I have my own, by the way. I mean, I haven’t committed murder and I have never been a thief. There’s actually a lot of things I haven’t done.
But the thing is, God doesn’t separate sin. There is no “Number One Sin” that will make you the chief of all sinners. Even Paul tried to claim that title (1 Timothy 1:15). And I guess he thought he could. He used to hold the coats of those who would stone Christians to death, simply because they were Christians. He persecuted the Church to no avail.
That is until God knocked him off his feet and put scales on his eyes.
What, you didn’t think our God would do something like that? Well, I’m gonna have to direct you to the Word, where you’ll find some surprising facts. Our Heavenly Father, the Creator of ALL things, will go to great lengths to keep us from spiritual death. And while I could have done without some of the chastisement I’ve been through, I can sure see why He did it!
Without God, we are nothing. And without God, our eternity will be nothing…at least, nothing like we expect. He will stop us in our tracks with a fervency, and He knows what it takes. He can turn you around from anything, no matter what, and give you a brand new future!
He Will Change You From The Inside Out
Who knows what makes us tick better than God? No one. Not even we know ourselves to the degree that God does. And because of that, He can make changes we wouldn’t think possible in our own strength. Because it’s not possible in our own strength.
I use to be cynical, hateful, mean, political, mouthy and disrespectful of others as well as myself.
Oh yes I did!
I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d love to tell you about it!
But I’m so thankful that I’m not like I was. Did I mention that already? Oops, sorry, but I can’t help saying it. I thank God for it every single day. And I always will.
The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians chapter 5. Check them out! The same chapter also tells you what the works of the flesh are. Funny that every single one of them start on the INSIDE. Because who you are on the outside is completely dependent on who you are on the inside.
There’s a little something written inside the front cover of my Bible. I’m not sure where it came from, or where I heard it, but it’s stuck with me for years and years…”Your reaction is based on your conviction, not your circumstances.”
Oh how true that is!
Letting Him Change You
God is a gentleman, and I can tell you that’s true. He won’t just reach down and flip a switch in your brain, turning you into this whole new thing. No, you have to make the conscious decision to allow Him to change what needs to be changed.
I can’t tell you how many nights I lay in bed, during a very dark time in my life, and prayed the same prayer. Father, search my heart! And if You find anything there that cannot coexist with you, help me to get rid of it! Or help me to let it go! Whatever it takes to get it out of there, Lord, help me to do it!
Eventually, you have to get sick of who you’ve been. Stop blaming everyone around you and get level with God to find out what’s really going on. Lord knows that’s what I had to do. The blame game only goes so far, doesn’t usually work and NEVER makes you feel better. It doesn’t change a thing, trust me, I’ve been there and I know.
But when you realize that something needs to change, and it’s on the inside of you, you get super serious about it. And that right there, is the moment God steps in and begins to work.
I don’t know if I could pinpoint a time that things changed for me. It might not have been a particular day or time, or whatever you want to use to gauge the moment. I think it’s a progressive movement of the heart and mind. I also think it comes away in layers. Because, in my mind, if God were to strip away everything that you beat yourself up with, it would tear you apart.
But, oh that peace! It truly is, as the Bible says, a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I’ve had my children to ask me how I could be so calm and unmoving, even in the hard times. My own mother said I just “looked” different, and then remarked that it was a peaceful look.
You know something has to be different when you own mother sees it!
It was a long road. Longer than it should have been. Like I said, I regret all those lost years. But I guess I have as many or more ahead of me than I do behind me, since we are given 120 years anyway (Genesid 6:3). I guess the reason I’m really sharing all of this is in the hopes that you won’t have to have that regret.
You don’t have to! He’s waiting, to give you peace and life and a purpose you just have to experience to believe!
About That Lump…
Here is a snippet of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 5:
- Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
If Paul knew anything, it was that the old man, or the leaven, had to be done away with. Not even a bit of it could remain. Because the least amount of leaven (also known as yeast, for those who might not know) will work on the whole lump (also known as a ball of dough to be made into bread). You can’t become a new creation with the old you still in there.
And I know that too…been there, done that, tried it, didn’t work.
That prayer I talked about praying…that was me asking God to help me get rid of all my leaven. I’d gotten to the point that I didn’t want it anymore. I knew it was bad for me and keeping me from Him and I just didn’t want to carry it around anymore.
I’m so glad I’m a new lump! And all praise goes to my Father, God. He loved me so much that He died on a cross, so that I could live eternally.
Are You A New Lump?
You can be, you know? In fact, I pray that anyone reading these words will turn away from their computer and ask God into their hearts. Ask Him to purge out the old leaven and replace it with the fruits of the Spirit. That’s how it all starts.
And He will! He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) and He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)!