23 Apr Spiritual Passport
If you have a US passport then you know that after ten years it will expire and you will have to get it renewed. Although you are the same person, you have obviously evolved over time. Your facial features have aged. You may have had a name change due to marriage or divorce. Maybe you have a new address. Bottom line is that although your core identity has not changed there may be some key identifiable attributes or features about you that have.
When you renew your passport, you have to sign the application attesting to the fact that you are who you say you are, that you are still a citizen, and that you have not committed any acts that would result in the denial of your passport. In essence, you are renewing your contract of identity with the country and are now able to regain access if you choose to step outside of its borders.
Over the last few posts, we have focused on the theme of renewal and have explored ways to restore ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. In this final post of the series, let’s focus on spiritual renewal. Typically, when we think of spiritual renewal we come up with a to-do list. We tell ourselves that we have to go to church and read the Bible more often or that we have to pray more. All of that is important but perhaps we are being a little too shallow. True spiritual renewal requires that we do a deep, honest, self-evaluation of ourselves and the key attributes that we exhibit as Christians. Over time, some of this may have changed. Perhaps our faith has matured or has been tested. Maybe the shame of sin has been weighing us down and we are hiding out hoping that God has forgotten our address. Perhaps our schedules have become too busy and we haven’t had time for an intimate relationship with God. Although our core identity as a child of God has not changed, maybe our identifiable Christian features have. Spiritual renewal is a way for us to renew our spiritual passport, our contract of spiritual identity.
In Psalms 51:10, David asks God to “create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” This is the essence of what spiritual renewal should be. It is a conscious plea to God for forgiveness, for righteousness and for relationship. When you renew your spiritual passport, you are saying that you acknowledge that you are still a child of God and that you are still a citizen of the kingdom. The best thing about this passport is that although we may have committed some acts that should result in our passport being revoked or denied, God allows us to renew it anyway. No matter how many times we step over the border, God is waiting there to welcome us back in.
So today, think about the status of your passport. Have some of your identifiable spiritual features changed? Is it time for renewal? The best way to guarantee restoration in all of the other areas in our lives is to ensure that we are spiritually healthy.