One of the best parts about the adult camp at SEYC is that we continually learn about taking off the old man and putting on the new. I used to think that it was a one-time thing. Once I was saved, I took off my old sinful way of life and put on the new saved way of life. But, two years of sitting under Pastor Al's teaching has really helped me to see that we're taking off the old man our whole lives.
So, what is the old man? It's the old sin nature. It's the thing that makes us behave the way that we do. We can decide to behave differently all we want, but until we face the reasons for that behavior, we'll just keep doing the same things over and over and over again. Paul wrote: "For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me" (Rom 7:19, 20). Pastor Al has been teaching us how to win the battle between the law of our minds and the law of our flesh.
Again, I ask, what is the old man? It is the voice in our heads that tell us that we're no good, that we're not capable, that we're worthless, fat, ugly. They sometimes sound like the person who once told us that lie. But usually, we've spent so much time repeating the lie to ourselves, we only hear the lie, and after we've told ourselves long enough, we just know.
When I finally broke through to understanding the concept, I had been asked to lead worship at the SEYC adult camp--by myself. Although I had played on the worship team at Logos for nearly 20 years, I wasn't sure that I could do it on my own. But, I told Denise I would, put together some songs, packed up my keyboard, and went to camp. I not only discovered that I could lead worship, but I also recognized the "voices" that told me I couldn't.
The voice was my Aunt Janet, who had told me in high school that I didn't play piano well enough to accompany someone for a concert audition. I'm sure that she meant well, but I took it to heart. I wasn't good enough. Later, the voice was reinforced by the members of the worship team. They never intentionally said or did anything to make me think that I wasn't capable, but everytime I was left out of a special or a special service, every time I wasn't included reinforced the lie.
After I understood that the old man had been sabotaging my ability to lead worship, my confidence grew and I found it easy to take him off and fill the position on the team that I was called to fill. I even spent a year as the leader of the Wednesday night team--which was one of the most spiritually satisfying periods of my Christian walk.
This isn't to say that the old man is gone. Oh, no! He lurks beneath the surface, just waiting to sideline me with some other lie. For the last several months I've been dealing with a couple of lies, mostly tied with some kind of teary emotion. But, I'm learning to look at those emotional outbursts to see if I can figure out the reason. Is there a voice that's been telling me a lie in that area? Or is the emotion tied it to something else that hasn't been dealt with? More about that later this week.