I’ve struggled with a lot of things that controlled my life. Whether is was drinking, smoking, drugs or my desire to pursue selfish pleasure, I found myself under the control of these things. When something controls our desires and motivations, we are essentially in bondage to that desire. Many times we’re not even aware that we’re in bondage.
I found that a quick examination of my thoughts and fears reveal what has control over me. It requires complete honesty and transparency.
Here is the core question: What are the characteristics of the thoughts running through my mind?
- Is there a theme to my thoughts?
- Is there a cycle of thought or behavior that I cannot seem to break out of?
- Am I afraid of losing something (money, status, approval, a relationship, etc.) or being exposed?
If fear is driving your thinking, it manifests itself in your behavior. This is fear of losing something, someone or being exposed as the the real you instead of the person you attempt others to think you are.
The interesting thing about fear is that it often reveals an idol or lie that we consciously or subconsciously believe in or place our trust in.
Whatever we believe will eventually manifest itself in how we live and relate to others.
When people ask me about the transformation in my life, some don’t like the answer because it makes them uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable because it shines the bright light of truth in areas we would rather keep hidden. Some reject my answer. And that is okay, it does not change my love for the questioner. But, I don’t base the verifiable evidence of a transformed life on how other people respond. Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection changed my life from bondage to selfish desires, destructive behaviors and the power of sin I could not break away from, to a life of freedom and peace.
I was reading Oswald Chambers this morning and I’m reminded where I started compared to where I am today. His focus verse was this;
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
For the believer who has placed their trust in Christ alone, you cannot pull off the spiritual life in the Flesh, it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. It gives evidence of an authentically transformed life. The old you is dead. The new you lives! When someone tells me they are a ‘Christian’, I begin to examine their life for evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit. How you live tells me more about you than what you say.
That brings us back to the questions.
What are the characteristics of the thoughts running through your mind?
Is there evidence of transformation in your life?
Check out Oswald Chambers devotional here.