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If You Want the New Life

If You Want the New Life

I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Genesis 6:17-18

In the misery of my drug use, I wanted God to perform a precise surgical excision of my addiction. The problem was that my addiction had metastasized throughout my entire life and so, everything had to change. I just wanted my old life back, minus my addiction. In treatment, during the terrible consequences of my drug use, I finally went to God, asking him what I needed to do to find recovery. I felt him telling me that I needed to make a genuine effort every day to abandon myself and follow him. Everything must change.

That sounded like religious nut to me, and again, I just wanted my old life back. There was no going back though, not if I wanted recovery. It was that old life of following my way that led to drug use in the first place. If I wanted to be free, the only way out was to abandon my way for God’s. He said I could stay in the old life if I wanted, but if I truly desired the freedom of the new life, I had to follow him. Come with me if you want to live. I could continue to live my way, remaining in the misery, or I could follow God, being radically transformed. Those were my two options and there was no third.

Come with me if you want to live. That was God’s message to Noah in today’s passage. In it, God told Noah to build a colossal ark – a gargantuan project that would consume years of his life. God made a deal – a covenant – with Noah. God said he was eventually going to flood the Earth, killing everyone. God promised Noah that he would save him and his family though, if Noah would obey and build the ark.

This is still God’s message to us. Come with me if you want to live. If we’re tired of the old life and if we long to experience the new life, then we too must daily abandon our path for God’s. Like the road to destruction (Matthew 7:13), our path seems like a good idea now, but it always leads to misery in the end. God’s path may seem more difficult now – like building an ark – but it’s the only path to authentic life, joy, and peace. Come with me if you want to live.

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