Growing in spiritual knowledge can be a great thing. But it’s not so great when our obedience to God doesn’t grow with it. When that happens, we get to the point that we have all kinds of wrong thoughts, attitudes and habits that need killed off in order to let what God really has for us grow.
Colossians 3:5,9-10 says, “ So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you… for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
So one key to living a lifted life is to continually put off your old self and on your new self. The hard thing? It’s really easy to think we’re fine. But when we ignore the things that need killed off, they grow into much larger things. Things that later can dramatically affect our lives.
To prove this, let’s compare two biblical figures. One who took care of the killing off and one who didn’t.
The first is Abraham. He had a lot to kill. He came from a rough start, full of a family of idol worshipers! But he eventually became known as “the father of faith” because he constantly put off his old self and on his new self, keeping the faith through the good seasons and bad. Hebrews 11 says that it’s only this kind of faith that can bring forth the potential God sees and the life He commends.Now, here’s our comparison: Caiaphas. This man was the high priest in Israel from 18 A.D. to 36 A.D. This means he was the one in charge when Jesus was crucified. But instead of helping his people grasp their Salvation, he literally killed their Savior.
Did you get that? The man who was supposed to be the most spiritual man in Israel broke the sixth commandment. He murdered someone! All because he didn’t take care of killing the wrong desires on the inside of his heart.
You may be saying, “Okay, I get the importance of killing off wrong things. But how do I know what they are?” That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in. He was given to us to be both our teacher and our guide. He will correct us when we need corrected, but He will also lovingly help us to get back on track.
He will make sure that our calling is clear— that we know who we are called to serve and what we are called to do. He will also remind us to live consecrated. Because when we decide to live for God, we cannot let anyone or anything else keep us from complete obedience.
What kind of story do you want to write with your life? I think all of us would lean more toward a life like Abraham’s than Caiphas’s. So let’s learn to let the Holy Spirit show us what needs to go in order to grow. That’s the kind of life God rewards!