You’re a new creation in Jesus Christ – but how do you actually become a different person and live in inspiration, joy, love and faith? These three tips for blossoming into who God created you to be are inspired by my own recent experience.
When I wrote How to Stop Believing Lies About Yourself, I didn’t realize how deeply affected we are by fear, doubt, insecurity and painful past experiences. For example, I always knew that I was scared to live in abundance (for example, I couldn’t bring myself to spend money on “unnecessary luxuries” like mangoes and nice hotels). I lived in scarcity and fear of not having enough. I thought it was just part of being raised by a single mom on welfare and getting food from the food bank. Even though I follow Jesus, I don’t live in abundance. How sad 🙁
Yesterday I realized how ingrained my past experiences of poverty and scarcity are — and how badly I want to live as a new creation in Jesus Christ. I yearn to be free from insecurity, fear, doubt and lack. I long to blossom into who God created me to be. Yesterday, I discovered a key tip for blossoming, flourishing, and thriving as a woman of faith.
A month ago I decided to attend a John Main Silent Retreat and Contemplative Seminar in Squamish, BC. It’s not for six months but the organizer said it’ll fill up fast so book a room early. I really wanted a private bathroom for the eight nights, but I was too cheap and scared to spend the extra $300.
I didn’t register for the retreat. I kept visiting the website, knowing I would eventually register. And I kept closing the page because I was scared to pay the money. I can afford to go because I have enough money. I have time to go and I’d love to learn more about Christian contemplative prayer! And yet I held myself back. I was living out of the old me.
Yesterday I discovered that all the rooms with private bathrooms are sold out. It’s all booked up; I had to register for a shared bathroom. I hate sharing bathrooms. And this, my fellow Christian friends, is the perfect example of NOT living as a new creation in Jesus Christ and NOT blossoming into who God created me to be.
3 Tips for Blossoming Into Who God Created You to Be
This blog post is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project; I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture.
As “luck” would have it, I’m currently reading the Exodus story and writing about how God brought Moses and the Israelites out of slavery, bondage and oppression in Egypt. One of my favorite articles was What to Do When God Puts You Through Hard Times – Exodus 5, but this one (How to Blossom Into Who God Created You to Be – Exodus 14) outshines them all. This is a story with practical, life-changing tips for every follower of Jesus Christ. It has the power to help you blossom, flourish, grow and thrive — if you pay attention to what God is telling you.
1. Take holy, prayerful action
In Exodus 14:15 the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” This was right after the Israelites saw the Egyptians — all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops — chasing them to bring them back into slavery. The Israelites panicked, cried out to God and said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?” (Exodus 14:11. This is funny because Egypt actually specialized in graves; three-fourths of Egypt was reserved for gravesites!). And what did God say? It’s not time to wail, keen and kneel in terror. It’s time to rise, Moses, and blossom into who I created you to be!
What is holding you back from blossoming as a new creation in Jesus Christ? It can be as simple as grimly clutching every last dime because you’re scared you won’t have enough for retirement. It can be as foolish as refusing to register for a course, retreat, conference, trip or degree you desperately want to take. It can be as little as not saying hi to your neighbor in the elevator, or as big as staying in an abusive, unhealthy, toxic relationship. God is not holding you back from blossoming into who He created you to be. On the contrary, He created you to thrive, grow, and flourish! But instead of taking holy, prayerful action you’re holding yourself back.
2. Keep nurturing growth and weathering the storms
“The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.” (Exodus 14:23-24). If you read Exodus 14 carefully you’ll discover that the Israelites had to stay up for three watches. They were engaged in a horrible battle. They didn’t have the Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, horsemen and troops. The Israelites had been living in Egypt as oppressed slaves in bondage for decades; escaping wasn’t easy. It was terrifying even with angel of the Lord and the pillar of cloud guiding them toward freedom and peace.
In what ways are you giving up on yourself? On God? Learning how to blossom into who God created you to be involves reflection and self-awareness. Becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ requires you to walk through difficult times of self-discovery, honesty, and grief. You have to die to your old self and rise anew in Jesus Christ! For me, this means noticing those moments of being cheap, stingy, fearful and insecure. It means enjoying the freedom, beauty, joy and abundance God gives me — and actually living as if I were a new creation in Jesus Christ. Right now I have enough money and time to attend silent retreats and contemplative seminars. Instead of gritting my teeth and registering for something I desperately want, I need to rest in the abundance, freedom and joy of Jesus. What about you? How will you keep blossoming into who God created you to be?
3. Rejoice in how far God has brought you
“That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” – Exodus 14:30-31. Hallelujah! Notice that the Israelites first saw God’s salvation, feared His power, and trusted Him. They also saw the Egyptians — their old oppressors, chains and bondage — lying dead. Moses said the Israelites will never see the Egyptians again, and he was right.
How has God already blossomed you into who He created you to be? Celebrate! Yesterday’s article (What to Remember When You Feel Weak – Exodus 13) was about remembering how far God has brought you. You’re a new creation in Jesus Christ, and He is nurturing and sustaining you. You may not be able to see every tiny sprout that unfurls, but you are growing. Sometimes I’m sad and disappointed to see the truth about myself — such as how hard it is to live in abundance, joy, security, faith and peace. But I’m also humbled, awed and grateful that the Holy Spirit is actively blossoming me into who God created me to be. I couldn’t grow, flourish, or thrive without stormy, dark, dry, hot seasons of life.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still,” Moses said to the Israelites in Exodus 14:14. That’s when God told him to tell the Israelites to move on. He also told Moses to take action, raise his staff, stretch out his hand…and blossom into who God created him to be.
Exodus isn’t just the story of the Israelites escaping slavery in Egypt. It’s your story, too! Leave behind the chains, bondage and sins of the past. You are a new creation in Jesus Christ, and God is blossoming you into who He created you to be. He brought you here, and He will take you home.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.” – Deuteronomy 3:16.
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.