Due For An Upgrade

Each year, phone manufacturers parade out their new flagship phones. This year’s release includes the Pixel 8, the iPhone 15, among amazing phones that fold, or accomplish some other amazing feat. You would not walk around with an old model, cracked screen, or *gasp* a dumb phone! People eagerly await news regarding what new features will be included in new models, run rumor websites, and camp out to be the first to receive the latest releases.We upgrade our phones more often than a hillbilly changes underwear.

As it relates to our life as Christians, often, we are satisfied with the status quo. Some came to know Christ some time ago but have not sought any more profound relationship with God. Many feel that they are fine. They attend services regularly and follow all the rituals.

God desires a closer relationship with us. Paul tells the Philippians, ” I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV)

Why are we so quick to upgrade our electronics but not yearning for an upgraded relationship with our Savior? You are due for an upgrade! God wants to improve your life vastly! How can we find that deeper relationship? How do we receive this upgrade?


“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV)

If we are God’s temple, then he lives in us. Think about the words possessed and indwelt. Possess, in the legal sense means to own or to have as in it belongs to you. It can also mean to take as one’s own. We often think of the word possessed when we think of horror movies. But instead of applying it to evil, what if we offered ourselves completely to God so that His Holy Spirit possessed us? What if we were completely surrendered to His wiill? If we sought what He wanted?

The other word, indwelt, means to be present permanently. When I think of God living in me through the indwelling of His Spirit, my mind thinks back to the dedication of Solomon’s temple. Here, in Jerusalem, God dwelled among His people. Here is what scripture tells us about this.

In 2 Chronicles 5, the Ark is brought into the Temple. “Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God. ” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14 NIV) In 2 Chronicles 7, God’s glory fills the temple at its dedication. “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.” 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 NIV)

We see in Acts 1 that God fills believers at Pentecost. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4 NIV)

If we want to experience a deeper relationship with God, we must fully surrender to Him. We ask him to dwell in us and make us His!


The Hebrew word translated as holiness is Qadosh. God called his people to holiness. This meant being separate from all others. God separated His people by delivering them from Egypt. He gave them the law and, ultimately, the promised land. Unfortunately, we see their unwillingness to remain faithful to Him and give into the temptation to be like the other nations around them. Ultimately, we see that they did not heed God’s warnings, and they were exiled and scattered.

God calls us to live lives set apart, separate from how the world lives. I like what Paul tells Timothy. He says, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV) Soldiers take orders. The results can be fatal When they become tied up with politics or other distractions. Living separately means living with a single-minded focus on God and His will.

It also means that we must be free from all other commitments. Our focus is on God. Jesus said, No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13 NIV.

He also said, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16 NIV

We must seek to live to please God! (1 Thessalonians 4:1-3)


We should live to separate ourselves from anything contrary to God’s divine nature. This is seeking to live Christ-like. We were created in the image of God! Christ died so we might be reconciled, but even more, he promised His Spirit in John 14, who would help us live in love and obedience!

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-15 NIV

Robert Street said, “The experience of holiness isn’t merely a very blessed spiritual feeling on a Sunday morning. If it is anything at all, it has its outworking in everyday life, seven days a week. Holiness demands that we get our hands dirty while asking God to keep our hearts clean. It must make a defining difference as to how we live and to the people we are.” (Called to be God’s People, Robert Street, 2008, page 84)

Paul said, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” Ephesians 4:17 NIV Is there a difference in how we live than the world around us? Is the only difference that we go to church? Do we love as Jesus loved, or do we love as the world loves? Do we bear the fruit of the Spirit, or are we dead like the world around us in sin?

Paul goes on to tell the Ephesians, “That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-25 NIV

Do you belong to God? Completely? Perhaps today, you need give God your all, or the part you have held back on the alter and surrender completely to Him? Are you living a life separated to God? Are you trying to live counter to our culture around us or are you being sucked in?

You MUST offer yourself completely to Him… dedicated to Him! Are you living Holy in your character? You were created in the image of God. You have been adopted as His son/daughter. Are you living a Christ-like life or are you living like the world around you? STOP playing religion!

Holy Spirit, we choose to live as your children. Please help us to define the changes we need to make in our thinking and our actions to reflect you truly. Change brings hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captive, and clarity of sight to those who live in darkness. Make us sure of who we are in you and mature in nature and emotionally. Help us seek and find the wholeness of sanctified living that sets us free to be all we can be and then free to do all we can do. A life is entirely given over to you.

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