BREAKING THROUGH THE MOLD
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:27-30
Breaking old habits are really difficult for us all. We find ourselves trying to change our ways, but eventually fall back into the same habits that have held us captive for most of our lives. For example, about 2 weeks in is the time that most people who made a New Year's Resolution to change something begins to break down. Those who chose to try to get in shape find themselves not as motivated to get up or make it to the gym. Those who chose to read more or find a way to improve their eating habits, have found the stress of pre-preparing food takes more time then they are willing to give and if the book has not hooked them after the first few chapters it will fall into the depths of those books that we will never know how they end. It is just a reality of life because it is not easy to break through the mold of the old. We have to consciously beat our subconscious and retrain our brains to think in a new way. We have to stop conforming to the old and look for ways to stretch ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually.
As we woke up this morning there were a lot of constants that we pray will not change. For instance, I am praying that the Law of Gravity stays exactly where it is for now. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be able to fly or float around to get to places instead of walk, but for the most part, I am ok with the assurance to know that the constant of gravity will hopefully remain the same. Also, I am ok with the constant of time. I know that there are 24 hours in a day and it helps me to regulate my daily schedule in hopes of trying to recognize the importance of time management. Yes, I would love to have more than 24 hours in a day only because if I had more time, I could fill it with so much more stuff, but maybe that is
something I need to recognize as a problem on my side. Certain laws of physics, science and mathematics help to keep us on a solid foundation, but it does not mean that the sciences
are all perfect. I mean just look at the term pi, it's value never repeats and has never found and end... crazy. I know that I stepped into a tangent, but the reason is that I wanted to let you know that it is ok to have some constants in our lives that help to direct our path and provide us with stability. God is a constant... but many people fail to recognize that reality. There are things that continue to hold us and take away our focus from breaking down walls and breaking through chains. There are things in this world and decisions that we make that continue to hinder our growth and we have to eventually take a hard look in the mirror and make a decision to stop the things that are harming our next steps and step into the reality that the only way we are going to change is to break away from the things of old.
Paul is trying to encourage to do just that in our scripture lesson for today. We have been able to watch his complete transformation as he was an enemy of God to becoming the greatest advocate of the Gospel. It was a moment on the road to Damascus where his life would change forever. He was holding on so tight to the things of this world and then God showed up and changed his life and viewpoint forever. He was NEVER the same once he let go of the things that held him to the mold. As he is writing to the people of Philippi, Paul is encouraging them to continue to live as an example for Christ regardless of the circumstance or situation the may arise. He is reassuring them that if he is there in person or only hearing the news of their faith, their willingness to step out of the norm will eventually lead others into breaking through their molds as well. Others will be able to hear and see the Gospel being revealed right before their eyes with an opportunity for them to do the same. When we are able to see others stepping out in faith it is easier for us to step out in faith. When we have others that are willing to hold us accountable for our actions and push us to better ourselves, we find that change can occur. We cannot go in this battle thinking that we can do it all on our own. Paul was applauding their willingness to work together in helping to profess the Gospel. When we are ready to break the mold that we have been caught in for so long, we also need to realize that Christ will be there with us as well. We are going to suffer and celebrate with Christ by our sides. It is not going to be easy, but together we will be able to find a new ability to press on and step out in faith.
So I pray that today may be a new beginning for us all. Not one that is connected to a resolution but one that is connected to a revelation given to us by God to make each day a chance to step outside the box. An ability for each of use to really take a chance and step into a new lifestyle that continues to reflect the grace of God in our lives and will help to draw others to break the chains that continue to hold them to the struggles they face each day. I am ready for new opportunities to see God working in the lives of His people. I look forward to seeing others that are willing to pray and push us all to better ourselves through the Gospel of Christ. This is the time that we need to finally stop the madness and continue
to follow God's lead in changing the world for the better. I just pray that someone will hear these words today that you are meant to be free. I pray that someone will realize that you have been given a chance each day to disrupt the regularly scheduled programming and focus on the newness of God. Breaking the mold is something that we all need to do in some aspect of our lives in order that we can continue to stretch the boundaries of God's Kingdom. Today is a new day and please remember that we are not alone in this journey. We all have the chance to encourage and to be encouraged. We all have the ability to hear and be heard. We just have to finally step into the moment and look for the people who God has placed in our lives to walk together through this journey. Things will never change if we are not willing to be a part of the change. So reach out and step into the moment... break free from the mundane and look to God to challenge and support us into a brand new day.