Recently, I was at a Christian conference in Orlando, trying to absorb the speakers’ messages, which I knew were wonderful. But I was having trouble concentrating. My shoes were killing my feet, and my strapless bra kept sliding down to my belly button. For hours I wrestled with that annoying, uncomfortable bra. The person behind me was probably silently pleading, “Please, make her stop!”
On the way out of the building that evening, I was overwhelmed with the uncomfortableness of these two items. Without thinking, I exclaimed aloud, “I am so tired of wearing things that don’t fit!” As soon as those words left my lips, the Lord, as He often does, brought a spiritual analogy to my heart. He reminded me of how uncomfortable my life used to be when I attempted to wear the “outfits” of the world.
For years I’d tried to be someone the world wanted me to be.
I’d spoken and acted in the way I thought would please the most people. I had sought after things I thought would bring happiness, satisfaction, fame, and pleasure. Yet, in the end, I always found myself in an internal wrestling match, ever striving to do something or be someone I wasn’t.
I finally stepped out of the wrestling ring the day I made this declaration of surrender to the King: “God, I’m tired of trying to be somebody other than who You designed me to be. I’m weary of doing. I’m weary of forcing things to happen. Please, strip away anything that isn’t of You, so I can be free.” I wanted freedom, and I knew that my current path wasn’t ever going to lead me there. It was time for a change. It was time for my life to be transformed through the working of the Holy Spirit.
That transformation, however, didn’t happen overnight.
In fact, I’m over a decade into it, and I’m still not completely free! But with each step in Christ, I’m discovering my true self, the person God created me to be. I’m becoming free of the pressures of people and the patterns of the world. I’m finding peace and joy as well as purpose and contentment. I’m also moving further away from the uncomfortable, exhausting, and frustrating life I used to live.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be free.
And I want to stay free! Freedom, however, doesn’t just happen. It takes more than a desire to change. There must be a decision to change, and then deliberate action.
Although I had declared my desire to change decades ago, taking off the world and putting on Christ is a daily decision that requires a constant surrender of my life to Christ. It requires me to draw close to the Lord by spending time in His Word and in prayer, to continually ask the Holy Spirit to expose any thoughts, habits, and patterns contrary to God’s will for my life. Then, with God’s help, I have to actually remove those things.
If you’ve lived the Christian life for any length of time, you know that the world’s outfits (its actions and thought processes) have a way of trying to dress you themselves. But the closer you are to Christ, the more uncomfortable those outfits will be, and the quicker you will recognize them and be able to remove them.
So, how about it?
Do you feel like you’re in one big wrestling match? Are you tired and perhaps frustrated with the constant cycle of life? Maybe you, too, need a wardrobe change.