The Pen Project Volume 1 Issue 2 - Page 53

After a few weeks of this , I finally spoke up and told the dude to quit walking in a shadow ! He asked me what I meant . I asked him if he was truly born again , at which he replies , yes . I brought the above verses to his attention and asked why he didn ’ t believe it . He asked again , what I meant . I told him that as a born again Christian and because he was a NEW creation in Christ , the OLD HAD PASSED ! The only one that can keep that past there is ourselves . He had still not come to understand what that meant . He still continued to find
his identity in his past and what others thought rather than who Jesus said he was . He was continuing to walk in his shadow .
If I had continued to walk in my shadow when I was released from prison , I would definitely not be where I am today ! Rather , I focused walking forward toward the light of Jesus and did not look back to where the devil wanted me to be , on my past .
There are many times I have come into situations where I could have easily allowed others to define me and where my future was heading . I have had prison guards in the community tell others and myself that I shouldn ’ t be trusted , because I am a convict and the only reason I am succeeding out here is because I am manipulating people . My response ? “ Oops , sorry , you must be talking about Ozzie . You see , that guy died seven years ago and I ’ m not that person anymore . But hey , if you want to walk in his shadow that ’ s up to you
, because I ’ m not there anymore .” Or when old saints from the church would corner me and ask me about my tattoos . I would reply , “ Sorry , those were put there by a person who doesn ’ t exist anymore . But if you want focus on the tattoos and not the man they are on , that ’ s on you .”
I lived the criminal lifestyle for 33 years , so for the last 33 years of my life that is the person people knew . That is the person they are used to . And sometimes , people will ALWAYS define you as that person , but God ’ s opinion only matters . And even if everyone in your life but God believes that , as long as you believe Him , that He is going to put you where He needs you to be , no one can stop that .
Regardless of how many people walk in my shadow , I am no longer that person . God put me where He wanted me just because of that . In Corinthians it says , “ God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise , and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty ( Cor . 1 1:27 ).”
He made me a Pastor two years after my release . Many people in the church left because all they focused on was my shadow . I continued walking toward the light . Two years after that , many more people have come to the Church because they see who I am in Jesus . They are astounded at what the Lord has done in my life . They see the new me , all to the Glory of God !
Don ’ t walk in your shadow ! Don ’ t allow what others say and think about you to trump what Jesus says and thinks about you . Always remember John 10:10 . Always remember you are a new creation in Christ . Jesus says , “ I am the light of the world . Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness , but will have the light of life .” Look to the Light and let the others walk in that shadow that was you .
Blessings in Christ , Pastor Brian Cole ( AKA ) Ozzie