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February 20, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | February 20

Kill the ‘Old Man’


You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:22–24


Saint Augustine knew how to sin. 


Before Augustine came to Christ he was a notorious womanizer and drinker. He searched the ancient philosophies for answers to life’s mysteries, and his quest took him from North Africa to Rome. After his conversion in 386, he said, “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” God’s man is a restless man if unresolved sin patterns still lie within him. Until we fully surrender and pursue His peace, real rest—peace—is fleeting and elusive. Augustine knew the contrasts between dark and light, and when he chose the Light, he abandoned the dark. 


Many of us think, “How did Augustine do that? No matter how hard I try, my bad habits keep coming back.” When we abandon the darkness of our “old man” we don’t abandon our humanity. Temptation, lust, selfishness—these things don’t miraculously stop chasing us. But also, don’t buy the lie that your old man is your new identity. It isn’t! Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, nkjv). Our new identity is hidden with Christ in God; we now have the Holy Spirit as our Advocate. We CAN overcome temptation through aggressively pursuing rest in Him. Old sin patterns die in the face of our new-found identity as His beloved sons.


Behaviors don’t change us. That’s like a pile of trash in a back alley: if all you do is shoot the rats but leave the trash, the rats return. Embracing and appropriating our new identity in Christ changes us. He changes us. He is our rest. Pursue Him and take up your cross daily. Yes, pursue spiritual disciplines (prayer, the Word, accountability, etc.), but don’t mistake action for position. Your position is as a new beloved child, not an old piece of trash. You can’t lose if you don’t quit. 


Father God, I throw down my trash and ask that You burn it. In its place renew my understanding of who and Whose I am.


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