“Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
It’s always an unsettling moment when you pull up to one of your favorite haunts only to see a sign posted in the window that reads “Under New Management.” A change in management probably means that what you loved about the place before, is not going to be the way it used to be. Different servers, different menus, and a different décor all threaten our sense of familiarity and comfort. And while it may ultimately be a change for the better, the idea of change is not always welcome.
When we came to Jesus knowing that we desperately needed a Savior for the forgiveness of our sins, something dramatic happened: He moved in. We were not just given a redemptive passport that guaranteed us freedom from hassle at the border of heaven. We received the gift of the indwelling Spirit, who intends to put our entire life under “new management” so that He can activate significant changes. He is looking for cooperative partners who fully believe that life under His control is far better than life under the old management.
The new management seeks to transition us from the destructive patterns of old desires to the new program of the power and peace that comes from doing the right things and living to reflect the qualities and character of God. This transition explains why people under new management are faithful to their spouse, remain committed to integrity even when it puts something of value at risk, why they actively care for needs of the poor and oppressed, live in the face of hostile environments with courage and confidence, see their income and careers as not an end in itself but as a means to advance the kingdom of Christ.
But beware. Living under the management of Jesus can often require radical choices. A man in one of the churches I pastored worked as a regional manager of a large cable network. He was good at his job, and a promotion to headquarters was on the horizon for him. Which is why I was surprised when he came up to me one Sunday and said, “Pastor, I have a tremendous conflict in my heart. Every day I get up and go to work realizing that, as a follower of Jesus, I am selling pornography on our channels. What do you think I should I do?”
You’d think as a pastor that I would have immediately suggested that he quit his job. But that would be a really scary step to take. How would he make payments on his house? Support his family? What about healthcare and retirement? So I said, “Let’s pray this week that God will give you wisdom and a clear sense of direction.”
The next Sunday he said, “I decided what to do. I quit my job.” Wow! I couldn’t believe it! My first thought was that maybe God had done a phenomenal miracle and provided another job for him. But he said, “I have no idea what I’m going to do, I just know that God will provide!”
When we embrace life under new management, the change may be dramatic—but count on it, it will be a change for the better. Just ask my friend and he’ll tell you, it’s not worth living under the old management if it means you have to cast your lot with Satan. When you turn your life over to the new manager—Jesus—be assured that regardless of what it takes, He will reprogram your life for His glory and your good!
“Management by Jesus” should be the sign that hangs on all of our lives!
- Who is in charge of your life? Ask the Lord to help you identify ways in which you still reflect the “old” management of sin, and then yield to His management.
- What fears might surface as you think about surrendering your life completely to the control of Jesus Christ?
- Think of a practical way that you can “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” today.