Moving In Without Moving OUT First
My son sent me a text about eggs in our bluebird box. When I arrived home, I saw our familiar pair of bluebirds sitting on the fence, agitated. I knew why. They fledged their first set of babies weeks ago and this is when they typically return to lay another set of eggs, but I had seen an intruder at the box earlier. Those bluebirds would not move in without the intruder being moved out.
Years ago, we were moving to a new town and were caught by surprise when we learned that the moving van was arriving a full day ahead of schedule. The renters hadn’t vacated the space. When we arrived, they were hauling furniture out through the back door while we were carrying furniture in through the front door! Moving in just doesn’t work well until someone moves out!
Paul frequently talked about this process in his letters to the early churches. “Throw off” the old life so that you can “put on” the new life in Christ. It mirrored Jesus’ call to the villages He visited: “Repent and believe,” Jesus said again and again. We can’t hope to experience the new life that Jesus has made possible when we refuse to let go of the old life where we acted as our own king. Only one can be king of a life–if we want Jesus to move in as king, we must throw off that mantle from our own shoulders. We won’t have the Spirit’s gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control if we are not willing to “move out” the hatred, bitterness, waffling, and self-centeredness that war against them.
So, as you begin a new season of summer, will you assess what needs to move out so that this season can be a ripe time of seeing Jesus unpack His grace in you more richly than ever before?