Hi everyone, Rob here. Recently I found myself drawn into yet another music talent show on TV. This time it was The Voice Australia. I have to admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for these shows. First of all I love music and hearing genuine talent, but more than that, I love the stories that come out as we get to know the contestants. It was interesting to me that the ones who made it to the final were also the ones who were the most open about their lives. They had all known hardship and pain but were ready to start a new chapter in their lives. In order for their immense gifts to shine they had to push through all the oppressive voices that had spoken words of failure, shame and negativity into their lives.
Scripture puts it like this; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5)
“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth…The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.” (Isaiah 42:10, 13)
Many of us want the new life that Christ gives us but are unwilling to do the hard work of dying to the old life that keeps the new life from emerging fully in us. I know that I was for years, and even now I resort to old habits and coping strategies at times when I lose focus on who I am in Jesus. The old self is also the false self. It is not who we really are. We only become truly ourselves in Christ and so the poser in us has to die, and we have many poses – success story, victim, loser, wise one, mr popular etc . I like how Paul puts it in Romans 6:2-4: “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” He carries on in 6:10-11, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Dying to the old life can be very emotionally taxing but we do it in Christ and with Christ. The victory is his. Hear his words in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In Jesus and through Jesus we can sing a new song, tell a new story, live a new life. We can know him and make him known. But it all starts at the cross where we put to death our sins, our hurts, our false beliefs and all the lies that Satan has spoken over us to keep us from coming alive to God.
“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified…For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” – 1 Corinthians 1:22-23, 25, 27-30
Thank you Jesus. Help us to sing for you. Amen.
Here’s your winner, Karise Eden. From self-harming to superstar with her coach and mentor Seal. Enjoy.