Do You Keep Secrets?
“And they have defeated him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony…”
See Revelation 12:11
I used to be a very private person. I could keep secrets with the best of them, and not just secrets about others, but about myself. Deep, dark, nasty secrets. That would soon change.
When I decided to finally allow Christ to live through me, I mean really give Him full access to every part of my soul, I no longer had the ability to be secretive. It just was not in me. Jesus and secrets don’t mix, they are like oil and water. Had I known this, and what God was about to do through me being extremely candid about my past, Old Matt might have fought New Matt a lot harder than he did, because he was a very determined chap!
If you aren’t familiar with my writings, in my first book, True Purpose In Jesus Christ, I dedicated nearly an entire chapter talking about myself in the third person, about “Old Matt.” Not in an arrogant way, but in a way that makes me seem like I’m fighting myself; the version of me who hadn’t yet allowed Jesus to begin renewing his mind. My spirit was saved, but my soul was still full of pride and lots of secrets.
That dude did whatever the heck he wanted to, “So shut up!” Old Matt would have said that, especially if you called him out on how he was living. I was not happy with him, but he ran my life.
Honestly, Old Matt still tries to peak his head out now and again, but he’s way too weak, that part of my soul has no power. New Matt, my renewed soul—by the grace and strength of Christ in my spirit–has put his boot up Old Matt’s rear. The Bible says that “I am a new creation in Christ! The OLD has gone and the NEW has come!” (See 2 Corinthians 5:17, my emphasis added). And that’s the truth! I AM A NEW MAN. PERIOD. You can’t un-convince me of this!
Sure, this has been a process, and it always will be as long as I’m alive in this body, but that’s okay. We are to enjoy the journey of letting Jesus reshape our inner-man—actually enjoy it! This process of reining in the flesh part of you, through your spiritual new self, which re-forms your soul, takes time. So have a goal of starving the old you, but give new you some slack in the process. As long as you stay focused on Christ in you, coming out of you, it will happen! At first, the new you starts out as a little seed, but then you will begin to grow into someone very big and strong in Christ!
The fact of the matter is once you believe in Christ, you are instantaneously brand new on the inside! (See Romans 6). Your spirit is crucified with Him, and He then comes to live in your body with you (see Galatians 2:20). Jesus calls this one-time event “born again” (see John 3:3). Just like physically we were born once, spiritually, we have a new birth as well. This birth happens the very moment we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has forgiven us of our sins! That’s it! Anything less is not enough, and anything more is trying to add to it. Your new birth is a free gift from God, by grace, through faith in Jesus (see Ephesians 2:8,9).
The legalistic Christians want to make it harder than that—this is not good enough for them. They say that’s way too easy for us. Why are they like this? Because they want to hold our complete forgiveness hostage…so “we don’t sin.” Well that’s not fair because we will sin, because we still have flesh—and so do they. They are lying if they say that they don’t, therefore, becoming hypocrites of their own standard, by not telling the truth. The problem is, they are simply too focused on sin, rather than on Christ. They’ve got it backwards.
Friend, listen, if you are balking on fully giving your all to Jesus because you still sin, don’t do that. You won’t last long that way, and that’s not how living out the gospel works. If you keep straining not to sin, you’ll either give up quickly, or worse, become extremely self-righteous. Your goal should now be to simply allow Christ to live through you. He will never lead you into sin. But know this, you aren’t the one who will keep yourself from sinning anyway, it’s Christ inside you (see Philippians 4:13). It’s His grace which now empowers you to constantly fight sin, but without fighting at all–this is the sweet spot! Sounds strange, but you’ll find it! (See Titus 2:11-12).
The author of Hebrews said it best, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest” (see Hebrews 4:11). Do you see that? Strive to rest?…How do you strive to rest?…Yeppers. Oxymoron. It’s not you, it’s Jesus in you.
When the religious Christians judge you so harshly, that’s just their way of comparing what they do and don’t do, to you. Ignore that if they aren’t doing it in a loving way. If you don’t, you will stay shackled to their religious bondage—but YOU hold the key—not them. Stay focused on Jesus. He’s the one who knows the truth about you, as well as the direction your soul is growing. Show them love, show them respect, pray for them, and bless them—but understand the truth about yourself! YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY PERFECT!
What you do and don’t do will change organically as you allow Christ to come out of you. This includes some of the stuff the graceless Christians are magnifying. And these things begin to change because you love Jesus! Everything we do and don’t do, now, is because we love Him! It’s not to earn anything or to make sure we don’t lose anything, but because we are so appreciative! LOVE IS A VERB! IT’S SOMETHING WE DO! We love Jesus, so we change!
Now, let me tell you, killing off the old version of yourself is a major process. They ain’t going away easy! Remember: You’ve fed and clothed him, or her, for this long, and they like their life! But so what! They don’t run the show any longer, Christ in you does!
THEY ARE DONE! THEY ARE ABOUT TO BE PUSHED OUT OF THEIR LAZY-BOY, SLAPPED IN THE FACE, AND THEIR COLD DRINK KNOCKED OUT OF THIER HAND! YOU AIN’T HAVING IT ANY LONGER! YOU ARE NOW STRONG IN SPIRIT BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE JESUS IS!
And you allow Christ to become stronger through you, how? Little by little. Little by little. Paul said we go from “glory to glory” (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). As you get to know who you truly are in Christ, and as you come to understand just how special you are to Him, He will supernaturally give you the ability to choke out Old _____________ (insert your name here).
For my old self, Old Matt, he was strong, but New Matt is stronger. My soul is stronger, because I’m allowing Jesus to make me stronger. Old Matt was also extremely deceptive, manipulative, and secretive. Secrets ruled his life! Soon enough, Old Matt had a new, huge problem. New Matt asked God a question that forever changed the course of Old Matt’s destiny. I said, “God, please use me, no matter what.”
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!! An atomic bomb just landed on Old Matt’s lap! “YOU’RE TOAST, BRO! GET THE CRAP OUTTA HERE!”
When I asked God that, to use me, little did I know He actually would—and in an unfathomable way—internationally. If I told you the number of people I reach each day through my ministry, you wouldn’t believe me. And let’s keep things in perspective, I’m just a regular guy. I’m just like 99% of the population out there, but look what God has done for me “ministry wise”—it is mind-blowing! I didn’t plan this but God did! YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!
I haven’t done anything special, all I’ve done is simply given my heart to God. I began to seek out who Jesus is each day. I gave Him my trust, my talents, and my time. I didn’t do a 12-step program, I did a one-step program: I began to show Jesus how much I loved Him! And He told me, “I don’t want you drinking,” so I stopped.
I didn’t go to seminary, I went to the school of the Holy Spirit! HE TAUGHT ME! And if you are truly seeking, listening, and applying the love of Jesus to your life and the lives of others, He will teach you too!
Now I’m not secretive anymore. I’ve learned that the only secrets that can hurt me are the ones I don’t bring out into the open. These are the secrets that the devil attempts to make me feel ashamed about. But God never wants us to feel ashamed—convicted, yes, but never ashamed. So let it all out, you’ll be amazed at what happens. Your misery can become your ministry if you let it, and if you have the right attitude. An attitude of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control—no matter what is happening in your life! (See Galatians 5:22,23).
The devil wants you to always feel horrible and keep your secrets. God simply wants you to continue doing your very best while resting in His grace and knowing that you are loved unconditionally because of Jesus. Your victory will come once you get focused on who you are spiritually—Christ! So get rid of your secrets. Tell God sorry when you mess up, and then keep moving forward! You are already completely forgiven!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, because of your grace I get to live out another day of life, and I’m so excited to do so. Help me with every situation I face. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who are trapped in a self-made prison of secrets, BREAK THEM FREE! Show them there is a new life on the outside! Give them that extra boost of confidence to escape! I know that you don’t waste any part of our past, so whatever it is they bring out into the light today, begin to quickly use it to help others who are struggling with the same things. You did this for me so I know you’ll do it for them! In Christ’s awesome name I ask these things, amen.
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