I am not who I was.
Things are different. I am different.
I’m not talking about my BC (before Christ) days compared to now.
Actually, I’m talking about my Christian life—my life in Christ…
I’m not who I was 20 years ago, I’m not who I was 10 years ago, and I’m not who I was 5 years ago.
I am being changed and I’m changing. “Being changed” refers to what God is doing in me. “Changing” refers to my willing partnership in what God is doing.
Not that I’m always willing or partnering…
I’ve got a thick head. I’m stubborn and fairly dull.
But still, God’s work is evident—and although I am slow, eventually I get it.
When I was a young follower of Jesus, I was depressed and kinda liked it. In fact, I even crafted my own little theology of depression. I would say things like, “Jesus was depressed.”
This makes me laugh today.
Why? Because God changed me. And eventually I willingly partnered with Him in this.
There are many other examples of who I used to be as a Christian—but I’m different now.
I am not who I used to be.
And I am not who I will be…
In 5 years, in 10 years, and in 20 years.
I will continue (slowly, and at times through stubborn resistance) to willingly partner with what God is doing. I will be changed and I will change.
I am not today who I will be tomorrow.
The Christian life is not a “Hold the fort,” maintain and preserve existence.
We’re always being changed and we are changing. This, my friends, is the Christian life.
If we’re not thanking Jesus for changing us recently, and we are only thanking Jesus for long-time-ago changes, something is askew.
The Gospel is the announcement of God coming to us, making all the big moves, renewing us, and giving us a brand new life. And this is perpetual. It is not a “once and then done” type of work. It is still happening, and we still need it. The Gospel is not merely the starting point of the Christian life; it is the start, the middle, and the finish. It is the whole enchilada, baby.
Get this in your spirit: “I am not who I was, and I am not who I will be.”
Be happy about it too.
Aren’t you glad you’re not who you used to be?
And don’t you want that same feeling of gratitude 5 years from now?
I am not who I will be. You are not who you will be.
Amen (let that be true).