So at this point you've just seen the title of this post and you're probably like, what in the world? Why are we talking about bump stickers? Just stay with me a little while and you'll see.
Well what exactly is a bumper sticker?
A label carrying a slogan or advertisement fixed to a vehicles bumper.
We see different kinds of bumper stickers everywhere. Stick figure families, go green, crosses, different kinds of clubs, etc. The slogan or advertisement of the bumper stickers on cars are what we want people to see who follow us. We put bumper stickers on our cars to let them see a part of us that defines who we are.
So what do we do with those bump stickers we see? We put those labels onto the drivers of those vehicles. Just like the labels we put on others, we also put labels on ourselves → emo, nerd, prep, skater, jock, etc. Sometimes we create deeper labels → ugly, failure, a nobody, worthless, dumb, unlovable and invisible. We can't hold on to these labels and expect to see change occur in our lives. There are 3 certain topics/tasks we need to understand and a process that needs to take place to these bumper stickers that we've used on ourselves for too long...
1. Recognize Your True Bumper stickers
Do you label yourself as a Christian? Are you going down a path that represents your label in Christ? Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
When your old self dies, all the labels, all our “bump stickers” that went along with it also die. We no longer are the things that once held us down, held us back or haunted our daily thoughts. We have a new identity in Christ! We are in Christ and Christ is in us. Period. That is our identity.
Our new BUMPERSTICKERS in Christ:
◦ Beloved; Jeremiah 31:3 →The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:” I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
◦ Child of God; 1 John 3:1 → “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
◦ Forgiven; 1 Peter 2:24 → “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have healed.
◦ Washed Clean; Isaiah 1:18 → “Come now, and let us settle the matter”, says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
◦ Free; Galatians 5:1 → “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’.
◦ New; 2 Corinthians 5:17 → “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
◦ Never Alone; Deuteronomy 31:8 → “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
◦ A Masterpiece; Ephesians 2:10 → “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
◦ Wonderfully Made; Psalms 139:14 → “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
◦ Bold; 2 Corinthians 3:12 → “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
◦ Conqueror; Romans 8:37 → “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
We are not our labels, We are Christ's!
2. Throw Off Our Old Bumper stickers
Ephesians 4:22-23; throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception (of what you are really called as). Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Now that we are no longer our old labels since we have been given new ones through Christ, we throw the old ones away. To see change we can't be holding onto things from our past including our label. There is no moving forward if you are continually looking backwards at the person you used to be so it's a must to throw the old bumper stickers of our past away. But it doesn't stop there. We need to not only throw away our old bumper stickers, our labels, but kill them.
3. Killing Your Old Bumper stickers
Kill...yeah that's a little harsh but it's necessary. If we don't kill our old bumper stickers and we just have them thrown away in the trash we can then come back later and pick them back up again.
1 Kings 19:20-21 states, “Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,’ he said, ‘and then I will come with you.’ ‘Go back,’ Elijah replied. ‘What have I done to you?’ So Elisha returned to his oxen, and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.”
Elisha asked to go back and then he realized what he had to do....By killing his oxen, he killed his label he could come back to: a wealthy farmer. He killed them to step into his new label God was giving him as a prophet...
Not only did he do it, but he did it publicly for everyone to see; the feast was an offering of thanks to God, but also a proclamation of the change coming into Elisha life.
You are not your label, throw it off, and kill it.
Let the God reveal to you the “bumper stickers” that he has for your life. Don't go back.