How well do you know me? How well do others know you?
Over the past few years, specifically 5-8, I have changed. I have changed tremendously! There is no doubt in my heart, mind and eyes. You see I am growing. I am changing. Yes, physically, because that happens as we accumulate age and our physical bodies change. The change I am seeing, feeling and living in is spiritual. It is God sanctifying and edifying my heart, eyes, mind and spirit.
As I continue this joyney, God is showing me ALL of the ways He is changing me. As I seek Him more, love Him more, listen more, learn more, I praise him for HIS work in me transforming me from the "old Shalon" into the "new Shalon." I am learning, growing and leaning into the "new Shalon" who is leaning into and saturating herself in God.
God tells us in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."-ESV
In every way over the past few years, God has transformed me in some of the same ways he transformed Saul to Paul. My heart jumps each time I think about this amazing work.
I have been reflecting on the me from years ago. My actions, words, reactions to people and situations. I am not reflecting with a sorrowful heart, guilty mind or regretful spirit. Those emotions do not represent my new mind, heart and spirit. Why? Because those are all chains, footholds or strongholds the enemy tries to plant in order to keep me from walking and living in the abundant fullness God has poured out and has planned for me. I KNOW who I am now. God is transforming me and I cannot get enough of Him and all of the goodness He has in store.
When I am confronted by someone who knew me as "Saul" and that person or group of people throw their judgment because of my past, the Lord brings to mind several things.
#1-I am clothed in dignity and strength because I wear the Armor of God. Those words of judgement and condemnation or rejecting attitudes are fiery arrows coming at me by the enemy and are powerless.
#2-Even having been a believer in Christ since the age of 9, the past few years have been when I have truly had my soul awakened to my true identity. This realization and walking in and with God has removed the scales from my spiritual eyes and allows me to see more of God and who I am in Him. That freedom is priceless and the hope and peace I receive is difficult to put into words.
#3-I am called to SHOW God's love and power. How receptive or reactive of those who knew me as "Saul" has zero to do with me and lies with them alone. In the love letter, God tells us, "If anyone will not listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust of your feet."-Matthew 10:14, NIV
I am free in Christ! Truly free to walk in the light of who I am because of His blood shed on the cross. I am free to walk as "Paul" and leave "Saul" behind because that is just what God wants to do in accomplishing His plans for my life and His kingdom here on Earth. My purpose is to be the light simply because the Holy Spirit leads, guides and directs my steps. I want more of the promises God has for me because I know that He keeps His promises. That alone is enough for me to keep seeking God first, in all things, leaning not on my understanding but fully committed and trusting in God because HIs ways are good.
Our willingness, full surrender and complete trust allows God to transform all of us from Saul to Paul. Which version of you do people know? Which version of you do you know? Are you walking and living in the freedom and fullness God has in store? My prayer is that you allow God to remove the scales from your spiritual eyes and grow your heart in Him so that you may go forward out of the shadows of the enemy and walking in the authority Jesus gave you when He died on the cross and rose again 3 days later.
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Momma, Friend, Warrior Princess, Sold out follower of Christ. There is more to me than meets the eye. A beautifully broken, messy, loving, imperfect woman praying to inspire others to find the JOY in this Joy-ney we call life!