“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:22-24
So often in life, we think we have to clean things up before we can approach God. We work and work to better ourselves, but it all seems in vain, as we continue falling short. It takes a renewing of our mind.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:2 NASB1995
It is not enough to come up with the list of things I am not going to do so that I can approach God. Laying aside the old self, has to be replaced with putting on the new self. We combat the flesh, by replacing it with the Word of God.
The world has quickly jumped on the positive affirmation boat, but it started with God. Most scripture where God says “lay aside this” He also states what we need to put on. He tells us what to think about:
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 NASB1995
Don’t walk in the flesh, Walk by the Spirit – Galatians 5:16
Don’t just look out for your own interests, look out for others – Philippians 2:4
Don’t work for man’s approval, work for God – Colossians 3:23
Forget the past, press towards the future goals Philippians 3:13
Don’t be arrogant and careless, be cautious and turn away from evil. – Proverbs 14:16
There are many things we need to lay aside in our walk with God, but there are and equal amount of things we need to put on. The world has followed God’s lead on this knowing that you have to replace what is taken away with something else. When you don’t, there is a greater chance you will fall back into the previous habit.
When you try to make changes in your life, put on the positive habit as you lay aside the negative. It will not always be easy, we have an enemy that is trying to steal, kill and destroy us. The good news is, we have a Savior that has already overcome the world. We are in a place of victory when we are on God’s side.