"Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16
Build Your Kingdom | First15 Worship feat. Emily Huffaker
God has an incredible plan for renewal in your life. He knows better than anyone the trials, circumstances, and people that wear you down. And he knows that you need time to be refreshed by him. Often, we seek rest and renewal from people and entertainment. Our friends, family, and entertainment can be great sources of fun and rest to be sure, but the only consistent and true source of renewal we have is spending time with our heavenly Father. Only he knows to the full extent what you need. And only he can give it to you. So, before we dive into the process of having specific areas of our lives renewed by God this week, let's allow him to simply reveal how to rest in his word and presence.
First, let's look at what Scripture says about our need for renewal. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, "Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." Because of the nature of sin and separation from God, we as humans will not live in our fleshly bodies forever. Genesis 3:19 says, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return." But we also have the promise of Jesus in John 11:26 that "everyone who lives and believes in [him] shall never die." We live on the earth knowing one day our earthly bodies will pass away, and we will at the same time be taken from this world to the next. But God's desire is that while you are here in this body you would be renewed in your spirit every day. Though your body will grow weary, he desires to strengthen your spirit with the hope of an everlasting life with an all-loving God who cares for you. You can meet with God every day. You've been given the ability through the Spirit to rest in God's presence, to know his nearness and love. You can have the same experience as Paul in being "renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).
So, how can we experience God's promised renewal? How do we rest in God's presence and allow him to revive us? First, it starts with trusting that God will reveal his love to you when you meet with him. In Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17, he asks God to love us with the same love with which he loves Jesus (John 17:26). When you ask him to show you his love, he will. When you make space to encounter him, he will fill you with his presence. Trust that God loves to meet with you and renew you.
Also, foundational to experiencing renewal is engaging in worship. You and I are created to worship. It is both our highest goal and greatest success. When you engage in worship daily, you will experience a renewed sense of purpose and direction. Last, spend time reading God's word, allowing it to change you and lead you to obedience. You must experience renewal in areas of your life that are not aligned with God's word. You have to spend time allowing yourself to be shaped and transformed by what God says is best for you. So much of being renewed by God is choosing to believe his word over our experience of what we feel is true.
Let your faith be stirred to encounter your heavenly Father today. You can earnestly desire to meet with him without any fear or reservation that you won't experience his renewal. Know that when you wake up every morning, God has a plan for the time you spend with him and the ability to reveal it to you through the Holy Spirit. God earnestly desires to renew you this week. He longs to heal the wounded and dry places in your life. Spend time today meditating on God's promise of renewal, and allow your desires to be stirred to receive all that your heavenly Father longs to give you.
1. Meditate on God's promise for renewal.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
2. Reflect on areas in your life that seem dry or weary. Where do you need to be renewed today?
3. Rest in God's presence and allow his love to renew those areas of your life. Spend time in his presence. Spend time worshiping. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you God's specific plan for renewal in your life. Look up Scripture that applies and let it mold and renew you.
"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." 1 John 4:16
May the prayer of your heart today be like David's in Psalm 63:1-3: "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you."
Just as David looked upon the Lord in his sanctuary, you can see God daily. Just as he beheld God's power, glory, and love, you can experience God. May you be renewed today as you step out into the world, and may God's strength be your source as you seek to live in light of his glorious nearness.
Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 4
or watch The Bible Project's video on 2 Corinthians
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