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Cast Off

“The more we let God take over, the more truly ourselves we become—because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself to his personality that I begin to have a real personality of my own.”

This quote by C. S. Lewis is very reminiscent of the Hebrews 12:1 lesson of “…Throwing off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us in order to become who God intended—more like Jesus. Everything that hinders is anything that keeps us from focusing on God and His ways. Each of us has our own list of things that we carry. They demand our attention preventing us from fully centering our hearts on God and His plan for us.

This whole idea of throwing off everything that hinders reminds me of the American pioneers who set out for the west. Their desire for a new life called them to the frontier so they packed their wagons full of their belongings, hauling them along with them to their new lives. The problem was they soon found that the weight of their possessions would become a hindrance to the success of their journey, and the trail would become littered with castoffs once thought of as necessities.

Like C. S. Lewis stated, “It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself to His personality, that I begin to have a real personality of my own.” That “giving over” may take some casting off to achieve the transformation. So much of what we think makes us who we are prevent us from being who we are in Him. We make excuses saying, “That’s just who I am.” But that is not how God sees it. His plan is for you to be conformed to the image of His Son, and that will mean some changes. [Romans 8:28-32]

Never fear. God does not intend for you to do all that off-loading on your own. In the Romans 8 passage, it says He helps us in our weaknesses and intercedes when we don’t know how to proceed. He’s got this part of the transformation well in hand, and He never fails at anything He does. All we must do is give ourselves over to Him.

Just like the pioneers who point their wagons west in search for a new life, we can also expect that these changes to become more like Jesus will produce a richness of character that cannot be matched if we continue in our old ways. Discarding those things that no longer represent who we are in Christ, will allow us freedom to embrace what God values and will bring us to a truer form of ourselves—one cast in the image of His Son.

“You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image–in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 NET
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