“that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5-6 NLT

A few years ago I changed my cell phone provider and as a result got a new phone number. For a short time after that (and still on occasion) I’d get phone calls from people looking for someone else. I’d tell them that this was my number and I wasn’t the person they were looking for. That person, who ever it was, was no longer at this ‘address’.

That’s what grace is like. As we try to grow closer to Christ, old acquaintances will try to contact us.

Old friend worry will dial our number when the boss tells us that the company will be downsizing and your hours will be cut.

Lust will pop up on the phone screen of your life when things at home get a little to stressful and you begin to wonder if the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.

You’ll hear the familiar voice of anger as you find the porn magazine under your son’s bed.

Doubt will ask for you to come to the phone when the prayers you prayed so fervently aren’t answered the way you’d hoped.

Fear will text you when the doctor calls and, rather than give you the results over the phone, asks you to come into the office.

Shame and guilt? Oh, they still have your number too. They’ll call at any hour of the day or night, waking you up to remind you of your past or question how you can talk about God with this ‘monkey’ hidden on your back.

Grace tells us that we can respond to each of these old friends by saying, “Sorry. I don’t live there anymore.” Before Christ we lived side by side with all of these old friends. Now that Jesus is in our lives we are changed, we’re new people, we live at I M Forgiven and we no longer need to take calls from the old life.

When the old friends call don’t give them a moment of your time. The shame and guilt you once carried can be placed on the back of a Savior who died to free you from that baggage. The anger, lust, worry and fear can be put out on the curb for garbage pick-up. You have no more use for it.

There’s nothing you can do to free yourself of these enemies of your soul. But that’s okay, Jesus already did that for you 2000 years ago on the cross. Today he sits at the right hand of creator God to be an advocate for us in our struggle. Because of Jesus you no longer live at that old address!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus the old life isn’t willing to let me go very easily. I still struggle on a daily basis with at least one of the old ‘friends’ from my past. Empower me by your Spirit to live free of their harassment. Because of you I’m a new person at a new address and they have no more hold on me. Thank you! Amen.