There are times in my Christian life when I feel like a dried up old leaf, devoid of life.
Fortunately a friend reminded me of the promises which we have both clung to over the years. Promises of being made new, given life, dead to the world and sin and raised in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
Maybe this is not the ‘right’ question to ask, but how do I experience this? From the Bible I know it to be true regardless of how I feel, yet the dry, crunchy sense of having had the life sucked out of me by the world is needing to be replaced with something better. The idea of new life is appealing, how do I experience life in Christ as fresh and new?
Reading the New Testament gives me ample reason to trust that God has indeed given me new life, and I generally find that as I read my dryness lessens. However, I cannot spend all day reading the Bible, much that it seems appealing to do so!
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Romans 6:8 ESV)
As I consider the promises I clung to and yearned to experience as a young Christian I find that it is possible to see ways in which I do have a deeper understanding of them now and have experienced the new life through the Holy Spirit in the years since first discovering them. I certainly have not arrived at some marvelous spiritual plane, instead I can trace the life God has infused into me working itself out in the real world as I’ve grown and stumbled onward in Christ.
So I delight in remembering how far the journey has already been, this gives reassurance that whatever may lie ahead can be faced in Christ. The baby Christian of 1988 could not have imagined where God would lead him! And He continues to lead us onward, one day at a time.
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:10-11 ESV)