A New House
Posted by Kim Stanley, March 21, 2023
I had been a believer for more than a few years when the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me:
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3: 3-4)
My walk with Jesus up to this point was wonderful, and our relationship was growing. He had saved me from my sin and made me His. I would be eternally grateful.
But my life was compartmentalized.
This is God time,
this is family time,
and this is work and ministry time.
And the order of all that seemed right and good.
But I was like an overly stretched rubber band ready to snap, feeling guilty that I wasn't giving each "compartment" its appropriate time and attention.
At a business conference, I heard a speaker say that she had learned her life was all God's.
I took that thought home with me.
Home was frustrating, though.
I was exhausted trying to balance family and ministry, striving to please God in all of it.
During the next few months, God began teaching me about grace and the exchanged life.
What happened at the cross?
Does the resurrection have any effect on my life here?
If I've been saved by grace, how does grace help in everyday life?
As I began to read through Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians, this wonderful truth started popping out at me:
This isn't my life anymore. Christ is my life. (Galatians 2:20)
I was so frustrated and exhausted because I was trying to live the Christian life apart from the Spirit of God. And that's impossible. The only person who lived the perfect Christian life was Jesus.
My flesh, well-meaning as it may have been, was trying to make me believe that it was still alive and in charge.
The truth was my flesh was dead. It just tried to make me believe it was still alive.
When God made me a new creation, the old me died.
He didn't just clean me up and make me look better.
He re-made me. He made my dead spirit alive.
To live by faith has come to mean much more.
My faith is in the Son of God who loves me and lives His perfect life through me.
I'm just the vessel.
He is the Vine. (John 15)
I am a branch, and branches don't strive to bear fruit,
they simply abide and get all their nourishment from the Vine.
I used to live in one house; let's say that house is my old self.
When Christ saved me, I moved to a different house, a new one. I loved living in this beautiful new house. But occasionally, I would make visits to the old house. I missed the old home place.
I went back and forth between houses until I eventually forgot my new address and just started living at the old house again.
As a squatter.
I didn't belong there, but it was familiar.
Then it started to feel more like a prison than a house. There were rules and expectations to live by, but try as I might, I could never measure up to them.
Checklists and standards were the prison guards, and I no longer knew who I was.
As I came to understand my new identity in Christ, I realized that this old house was not for me anymore.
So, I moved back to my new house.
It was welcoming and full of Life and Light.
I've lived there for quite a while now.
There are times that I still want to go back to visit the old house - usually when I'm tired, frustrated, and trying to get my needs met apart from God. When I make it up to the door to go in for a short visit, that old house is empty and dark, and there's no life there.
The Holy Spirit reminds me of the Truth of Whose I am and where I get my Life from.
And I quickly go back home again, where I belong.
By God's grace, those visits are becoming shorter and less frequent.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1)
Kim Stanley is a worship leader, speaker, writer, and is the worship leader for Touching Hearts Ministries. She and her husband Joe have been in itinerant worship ministry for over 30 years. She is the founder and director of One Thing Worship, a retreat ministry for women that provides sacred time and space to be still and hear the voice of God. She also co-hosts a podcast called “A Burst Of Hope” with Martha Wilson. She and Joe have been married for 40 years; they have 4 grown children, one in heaven, and 6 grandchildren. They live in the south metro Atlanta area. You can connect with Kim on her website, www.joeandkimstanley.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @onethingworship.