NEW LIFE AND FREEDOM


You don’t need to mourn the removing of
your false self. You don’t need to look back, wistful over lost moments when
freedom and joy and hope felt impossible to find. For when the false self is
removed — destroyed — you are feeling My presence anew. I am in you, and you
receive Me. So you are not wanting, missing life, anymore. Holy Spirit and
modern life. This is what we heard for you.
I open your heart — wide open, wider than you ever thought possible. What you have
dreamed for yourself — freedom, the relinquishment of self-pressure, the
abandonment of external pressure — is for you now. I know it is difficult to keep
your eyes on Me when layers of distrust — distrust you had trouble recognizing — has
built up. But I remove the layers, one by one, so that all that has been preventing
you from receiving Me is gone, destroyed, eliminated. You don’t need to mourn the
removing of your false self. You don’t need to look back, wistful over lost
moments when freedom and joy and hope felt impossible to find. For when the
false self is removed — destroyed — you are feeling My presence anew. I am in you, and
you receive Me. So you are not wanting, missing life, anymore. There is much I
have for you now — much that I have always had for you; but now you will hear Me and
see Me and accept what I give. Can you imagine the refreshment that comes from
abandoning the old rules, the beliefs you had adopted that were not true about Me?
It is time to know Me in a fresh way, a renewed way. For you are ready now
that the old self, the old life with its agreements, its untruths, is stripped away
and thrown into the fire. I refresh you — and your mind, your body, your heart, your
soul are awake and energized and ready to receive.
They are ready to be renewed. Each day now, each moment you remember — and I
help you to remember — ask Me to renew your mind, your heart. Ask Me to show you
what gets in the way of you being with Me, being taught by Me, being loved by Me.
I increase your hunger for My love, and then I satisfy that hunger. You spread My
love around and more freedom and joy is released. I love this world. I love My
children. I will give to you what you want most. Me, or the absence of Me. Let Me
give you things that will bless and equip your heart, not burden it, not break it.
I am right here. New life is something we get to do, right
now. We don’t have to wait. We don’t need to make complicated something that is
actually quite simple. And it is simple, and available. But it is
not easy. Because getting to new life requires a journey of descent — descent
into death. Death to the ways we protect and hide and manipulate and strive. But
when those ways of ours die, we do get to move into new life. Better life. Jesus
showed us how this all works. He was willing to die for us. And precisely
because He did, He defeated death and sin — and now offers us new life.
“Life in its fullness until [we] overflow.” But He didn’t just die
for us. He also showed us how to die — ourselves. He says in John chapter twelve, if
we want to be His disciples, we must follow Him and go wherever He goes — even
to the cross. In Matthew chapter sixteen, He says, “If you truly want to follow me . . . you
must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own.” Dying to live.
That sounds odd. It sounds counterintuitive. But then Jesus simply
points to creation — to nature — and makes all of this simple and plain and obvious.
In John chapter twelve He taught, “a single grain of wheat will never be more
than a single grain of wheat unless it drops to the ground and dies.” But,
if it dies, then it will sprout and produce a great harvest of wheat —
“all because one grain died.” Death is how we come to life.
It’s how we bring life to this evil, broken world. Despite what culture tells
us, new life never comes by grasping or ascending. Despite what the world teaches,
new life never comes by striving for the right job, the right title, the right
house in the right neighborhood, the right friends, or the right vacations. No.
It comes by descending. Jesus humbled himself — even to the point of an
undignified death on a cross. And we must descend too. We must die — in our own unique
ways — so that we too can experience new and better life than we’ve ever dreamed
of. So, we must surrender the need to influence what other people think of us
or the need to win or the need to be right. We must surrender the need to
control and protect and the need for comfort. Life springs forth from death. So
you must let go of these things. And when you do, it’s going to feel like death.
Confession feels like dying. Admitting you’re wrong feels like dying. Asking for
forgiveness can feel like dying. Forgiving someone else can feel like
dying. Getting help — for addiction, anger, depression — feels like dying. Letting go
of idols — like money or status or beauty — definitely feels like dying. When you
stand up and face these things, it almost always feels like you are going to die,
but you won’t. You’ll actually come to life. You’ll move into new life — better
life. And isn’t everything else just too small?
Too limited? Too unimaginative? Too boring? And too sad? Jesus says in John chapter
ten, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Let’s settle for
nothing less than that. So, it’s time for some death. And it’s
time for new life. Let’s pray. Jesus, search my heart. I am
asking now, like King David did in Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart /
test me and know my thoughts / See if there’s any wicked way in me / and lead me
into the way everlasting.” Listen for His voice now. And as long as the thoughts
that come into your mind fit within the principles of Scripture, trust them.
Jesus: what, in me, needs to die? Jesus, I don’t know what’s on the other
side of the cross — but I know it’s good. And I am willing to trust you and go
forward. I want to let go of my striving or my manipulating or my anger or my
bitterness or whatever else. I want new life. I understand that that requires
more than just my believing in the cross, but also my sharing in the cross and
making it my own. I am willing. But show me how. Show me now what I must do. This has been Rush, by Justin and
Jennifer Camp. Music by Michael Howard. Production by Frank Montenegro. Make sure
to go to iTunes or the Apple Podcast App to subscribe to Rush — and connect with
Holy Spirit twice-a-week, right in the middle of your busy, modern life.

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