Jun 19, 2014

Skinny Dipping with Sharks

One of the strange things that is on many people’s “bucket list” is ‘skinny dipping’. I say strange because if you practice good hygiene you probably already bathe daily and I can safely assume that you do it without clothing.
And yet, the act of swimming without any clothing in a much-larger bathtub (such as a lake) or a much larger shower (such as a waterfall) seems to be a goal for the masses.
I also find it strange, not because I am a prude (I’ve already accomplished this goal many times in the days of my youth), but because most humans find it very uncomfortable to be nude in public sat anytime.
Most humans are self-conscious when they are asked to partially undress at a doctor’s office or even in a department store’s dressing room. So the whole idea of being asked to take off something is only really risky because for a short time a person will be naked and vulnerable. We like the idea of new clothing, but we may feel vulnerable about taking off the old in order to put on the new.
Let’s face it; most humans still are self-conscious about nudity and probably rank it up there with swimming with sharks.  
So, when we read in the Bible that we are to put off and THEN put on, it makes sense why we would hesitate; even if what we are being asked to take off is bad and what we are being asked to put on is good.
The Apostle Paul wrote:

“…put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV)

 “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him (Colossians 3:8-10 NKJV)
I’m not sure where you are at today. Perhaps you are tired of living your old life and although you want something different, you are (seemingly) unable to be vulnerable to go for something different.
The very idea feels like you are being asked to skinny dip in shark infested waters…
My friend, I have good news for you today. Today, you can let it all go! Today you can have the new life you are looking for.
How can we “skinny dip with sharks”? I think we need to look to the One who did it best; Jesus Christ:
 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” (Philippians 2:5-8 MSG)
Jesus was willing to be vulnerable by becoming human and literally naked at His birth and at His death (as He hung on a cross). He was willing to be misunderstood as the religious leaders (sharks) questioned everything thing He did; even though He only did what His Father told Him to do.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 MSG)
He is simply asking you today to be vulnerable by asking Him to take control of your situation and be the Lord of your life.

Do you want true freedom? Call 1-888-NEED HIM. Someone is waiting to talk with you
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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