With the motor under your arm
I suspect I’m kind of a petrol head. Now and then I will sit glued to the box watching awestruck as they transform an old crock into a brand new flag ship vehicle. From crock to long, sleek, shiny car. When the owner sees it for the first time, his jaw nearly hits the ground. He can’t believe it’s his old crock looking like that and before long he’s off around the block with his new car under his arm.
Sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth it spending so much on an old crock, because not much of the old car remains. Everything is replaced with new parts: engine, gearbox, driveshaft, chassis, wheels, dashboard, seat, all new. All the rust is removed from the body and new pieces of metal welded on where necessary. Then everything is beautifully resprayed. When you get into that car, it even smells like a new car. The old is totally gone.
It seems to me that that is the image that Paul had in mind when he talked about us becoming a new person when we walk through life with Jesus. When you invite Jesus into your life, many parts are removed and replaced with new ones. Your mind thinks in a completely new way. The words spilling out of your mouth come from a new dictionary. Your eyes see the world around you differently. Your hands take and your feet walk differently. Your heart has also become new. Of the old one nothing much is left. Actually, only the body.
15… Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people.
But when I look at my own life, I see the old crock re-appearing much too often. It’s as if my way of life reverts to the default setting when something obstructs my path. With each crisis I return to my old way of doing things and that is often not a pretty picture.
I realise that I have to do something from my side too. And I know I have to make time to spend more time with God. I must study the Bible much more regularly, because that’s where I learn about the old, dirty person and how to get rid of it. With the help of God’s Word I can cut off and get rid of the ugly, old things and replace them with new ones.
In Klerksdorp a cell group started talking and it seemed to them as if the Bible works like a swimming pool pump:
1. The swimming pool must be backwashed, because in the summer frogs tend to hide in the pipe. In this way we get rid of the frogs in our lives.
2. Then we rinse the swimming pool to clear and clean the water. In this way we clean our bodies for better functioning.
3. Lastly, we put the pump on filter so that the creepy crawly can suck the water clean. We use the Bible to keep our bodies clean and going in the right direction.
May this be true for each of us. May we allow God’s Word to help us to become clean. May we submit ourselves to God’s Spirit all the time so that He can replace the dirty and broken parts inside us, so that we can look like a brand new model again. May people change because we are living in a new way and may the Holy Spirit enjoy driving with us under His arm around the streets of the world!
Do you believe you’ve been redone?
Can others see that you are new?
Do you spend enough time with God’s Word?
Lord, thank you for making us new. But I have to confess, though, that my life does not always look right. Sometimes the old person still comes out. One of the main reasons, I know, is because I do not spend enough time with your Word to see what a new person’s life should look like. Please help me to be disciplined and to make an appointment with your Word every day. Amen