Sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to choose what to read out of your whole big Bible. Sometimes it’s intimidating knowing how to spend your quiet time with God when there are no prompts or guidelines. That’s why Collide’s Next Steps Coordinator, Michelle Holladay, wrote a devotion for every single week this year – so you can take the guesswork out of your devotional time and relax into prayer and reading. Join us on the blog each week for a new devotion.
Lazarus was dead, completely and utterly dead, but then Jesus came along, brought him back to life and the first thing he told Lazarus to do was get rid of his grave clothes. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us the same thing. It tells us that through Christ, we have become a new creation and we need to stop living like we are dead. So, what have you done with your grave clothes?
Do you think Lazarus kept his grave clothes as a keepsake? I seriously doubt it. My guess is they were dirty and tattered and they smelled like nothing you would want to permeate your nostrils. He likely burned them. But here is the problem with us: instead of burning our grave clothes, we fold them up and stick them in a drawer just in case we might want to wear them again. There might be certain, more obvious negative patterns we easily get rid of, but others are more subtle and we find ourselves slipping back into them just as easily as we slide on that old comfortable pair of sweats at the end of a stressful day.
So how do we avoid putting those grave clothes back on? The truth is we will never be able to keep them off completely. It’s probably one of our toughest battles in life. I suppose we can draw some comfort from the fact that even the apostle Paul had the same struggle. He says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Amen, brother. I feel ya.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. And it doesn’t mean we have to go it alone. In making us new creations, Jesus has given us new clothes to put on. With His help, we can take off anger, and put on mercy. We can take off selfishness and put on generosity. We can take off fear and put on faith. Every single time we find ourselves wearing those old clothes we must consciously take them off and put our new clothes on. It’s not easy; it takes work and conscious effort but I am convinced that the path to true freedom begins with taking off our clothes.
What old clothes have you been putting on lately? Is it time to change into something new?