Tonight, I went to a church in Honolulu. The pastor was talking about gifts, but my mind was on death. Specifically, when the pastor asked if anyone in the audience wanted to accept Christ, and one person did. He said to repeat what he said, and he prayed to receive Christ and leave his old life behind. But the rest of us, not knowing if we were supposed to repeat after him or not, ended up just repeating the same prayer. It struck me at first as funny, since we've already accepted Jesus into our hearts, so we didn't need to be praying about wanting to become a new creation and to leave the old life behind, but I realized that it's as necessary to life-long believers as well as new believers to consciously declare that the old has gone and the new has come.
Every day it's a conscious decision to surrender ourselves. And the best part? When we surrender, we actually win, because we know how the world is going to end. To quote Jim Elliot, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
It is a conscious decision to let old bones be and to move on in our new lives.
It is a conscious decision to face truth and deal with consequences.
But there is no better reward than the assurance of freedom, grace, mercy, love and intimacy with God as a result of our conscious death.