Friday, October 16, 2009

oak trees and the "eff" train

i'm reading a book right now titled "I really want to change... so help me God", by James McDonald. i admit, the title is cheesy and sounds like a self-help book. on a strong recommendation from my sister, i decided to give it a shot and it's been an awesome journey the past few weeks! the book is anti-self and pro-Jesus. i can work with that!

the current chapter is entitled, "I'm dead to that" and i want to share an illustration on man and sin that i think is so accurate, a great picture, and helps give some perspective to overcoming sin. i think one of the hardest things about personal change is the time it takes... we are one impatient culture and we want things now. i really might as well just substitute "I" for "we" in that cause i'm talking about myself.

the subheading on this one: don't trust feelings (good already, right?!)

When Christ stepped out of that tomb on that first Easter morning, the power of sin was broken. Sin can no longer take control of you if you are in Christ. It can't tell you what to do. It can't boss you around. Its power is broken.

"I don't feel like it's broken," you say. Don't trust your feelings! It's the same as when you came to Christ; at first maybe you didn't feel as though anything great had happened, but you believed the Word of God and acted upon it. As you look back, you know you haven't been the same since that moment. In the same way, if you, by faith, accept the truth that the power of sin is broken in you, you might not feel different, but over time you will be different.

"Well, why do I still feel so alive to the power of sin?" you ask. Picture a very tall oak tree in the centre of a park. The whole park is full of oak trees. And the tallest one - the strongest one - in the centre has a big, tall trunk extending up into the sky. It's a beautiful oak tree. But planted at the base of the oak tree is a strong, thick vine. It's been there for many years; in fact, the vine has grown up and wrapped its way around the trunk of that oak tree and out along the branches. Now, after many years, the entire tree is covered by that vine.

Now imagine for a moment that your life represents the oak tree, and the vine represents sin. When you came to Christ, it's as though God Almighty took an ax to the base of that vine and cut that thing off. And let me tell you something: The vine is dead! You say, "It doesn't feel dead. It is still all over me!" Right. And if you will begin to cooperate with God and do what you are about to learn, that old vine can be cast off in your life and you will begin to experience the victory that is rightfully yours.

that's James McDonald and i would definitely recommend his book to all looking to break free from the power of sin... ok, so everyone should read it!

it makes me think of another great thing i learned last year (the eff train)... it even has alliteration, which brings me joy in and of itself:

fact, faith, feeling

the idea being to keep it in that order!

cool stuff... tough, but so glad it's not up to me on my own!!