Even though my birthday is in May, I have a special place in my heart for the month of June, because it represents the halfway mark. It is the sixth month of the year and causes a time for reflection. Earlier this month, I reflected back on the past six months and wrote down the things I’ve accomplished, the things I’ve learned, and the things I have yet to accomplish. The first half of the year has been rewarding in some areas, but there are still so many things that I would like to achieve.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19).”
Even though I have yet to accomplish some of the things that are on my vision board, this month God has been putting the word “new” in my spirit.
As I read this scripture over and over, I don’t think of ‘new’ as in material things, but more so a new spirit. Getting rid of the old and living in the new. Walking more into what God has called me to do.
I was lying in bed one morning getting ready to read my Bible, and the Lord put in my spirit to read the story of Saul and his experience on the road to Damascus (read Acts chapter 9 for reference). Saul’s conversion is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because it’s incredible to me how a man can go from persecuting God’s people, to leading people to follow Christ. I always say that if God can use Saul (later only referred to as Paul), then He can use ANYBODY!
Saul was persecuting believers that followed Jesus. As you can imagine, the people were afraid of him. So how crazy it must have been to see the man that you once was afraid of, now telling you about Christ. But only Jesus could do that transformation in Saul. Jesus said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). As you further read, you’ll find out in that chapter that Saul gave his life to Christ and was baptized.
“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
Saul was a new man. So much of a new man that he later went by the name Paul. While reading, God reminded me of a conversation I had with a coworker a few weeks ago. In this conversation, my coworker had just won “Employee of the Month” and I was joking around with him asking how he won the title when he hasn’t been working that long.
“I’ve been working here for over a year and no one has ever recognized me”, I said jokingly.
My coworker replied, “Well have you tried being nice to people? Have you tried to have a relationship with managers and customers? It doesn’t hurt to simply say hello to people when you walk past them. I know it’s difficult to work here but if you practice just saying hello, I promise your day will go by a lot quicker.”
Whew. He read me that day.
I couldn’t even get upset because I knew my attitude needed to change and how I thought about my job. God has a unique way of telling you to get your act together.
As I was remembering this conversation while reading my word, I felt God telling me that in order for me to get the new things, I need to have a new spirit. How can I want the things I’ve prayed for to come to past, but have a bad attitude at work? How can I pray and ask God for another job, when I barely speak to customers when they’ve done nothing to me. I know that disappoints God.
Just like Saul decided to get his self together and live life God’s way, we have to do that. You could be the most saved out of your family and friends, but we must self-reflect from time to time. What toxic traits do we have? How can our attitudes be adjusted? How can we be better friends? Better Christians?
Is it still hard for me to walk into work sometimes? Most definitely. But in that I can say I have been working hard to do better. I started smiling more, speaking to people more and overall just being around to help others. My coworker was right. it does make the day go by quicker.
My prayer this week for you is to self-reflect. The old man in us has to die in order for us to be created new in Him. What more does God want from you? What is He saying for you to do? Ask yourself these questions this week and pray that He reveals it to you.