Many young people who come to the Lord, come full. They come as they are, and Jesus indeed does not cast them away. “Whosoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out”, Jesus said. He doesn’t mind the way you have come, He doesn’t mind how full – of rubbish, of pain, of trouble, of problems, full of mistakes, full of terrible pasts. While we struggled, we gathered many wrong things. While we were ignorant, we made many mistakes and our lives have become full of the wrong and the painful!
When we come to Him, He saves us and delivers us. He deals with all that has held us captive. He breaks every chain, drives out the problem and sets us free. He forgives our sins and cleanses us from our past life. The moment we come to him, He doesn’t mind how we have come but he doesn’t like it either. So He works on us, He forgives us and deals with the root of darkness in us.
Several unfortunately stop at this point, they don’t do anything else. They continue with life like it had been. They don’t realise that they also have a responsibility to do. They don’t know, that it doesn’t stop by Jesus cleansing you and leaving it that way. They don’t know about the two important responsibilities of the Christian who comes to the Lord… Or maybe they were never told!
Two things every person who comes to the Lord must deliberately begin to do… A few scriptures in the Bible describe these two deliberate things that must be done… 2Tim 2:22; Eph 4:22-24; Rom 13:12
“…let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
CAST OFF and PUT ON!
My major focus is on the second aspect, the part of Putting On; but permit me to briefly talk about the first. Our first responsibility is to cast off the works of darkness. When we give our lives to Christ, our spirit becomes regenerated. Our nature changes and we now have what it takes to conform to His image. However, our bodies and minds don’t immediately change. They still have the tendency to behave like they used to behave. They still look like they looked before you met Christ. The responsibility now rests on us to CAST OFF! It is a deliberate process of offloading, it involves reformatting your mind, it is an unsetting of the former settings.
Our minds have been conditioned to certain thinking, certain way of life, certain reactions. Our bodies also are used to certain things, some habits, certain reflexes, particular lifestyle and way of living. These things don’t automatically change when we give our lives to Christ, it takes deliberate actions and steps to cast off all works of darkness and to put on the armor of light. Your mouth may have been used to speaking slangs or insultive words, it takes a deliberate work to cast off that work of darkness. Our bodies are used to particular hair cuts and styles, dress manners and behaviours, those things don’t disappear automatically, you must be deliberate in casting them off.
Your mindset had been preconditioned to certain philosophies, the 50-50 game; I do to you as much as you do to me. I give to you as much as I want from you and I expect from you when I have given to you. It was difficult to accept to do any work except they were ready to pay or at least praise you for it. You did everything you could to make yourself feel important and worthy and get yourself ahead even if you do this at the expense of another person. All of these and more are examples of ‘works of darkness’ that must be cast off as soon as we come to the Lord.
Coming to Christ is only the beginning of a journey, a journey of becoming like Jesus – Conformity to His standard and Will. Every Christian must take deliberate steps to cast off all things that pertain to the old life and now seek to find the lifestyle of the new. To continue to live your life like nothing happened, is to be in danger of going back fully into the world and loosing your salvation. I encourage you to identify those former ways and take steps to take them off.
May the Lord grant you courage to deliberately deal with these issues IJN.