I talked with three strangers today…all separate, distinct encounters. But there was a common thread that ran through all three conversations. Sadly, they all appeared to be living the “old” life. I did not have a talk with them about their relationship with God or their spirituality…but the unhappiness and hopelessness came through so strongly.
When I speak at retreats or workshops, I make a comment that resonates deeply with most people: “When you become a Christian, you are a new creation with a new eternal destination and new potential on this earth, but you don’t get a brain transplant!” This is why we still sin, even though we have the perfect and powerful Holy Spirit residing in us. If we were perfect and complete upon salvation, God wouldn’t call us to go from milk to solid food. We would already be at the solid food level of maturity.
But sadly, we aren’t mature believers when we are saved, hence the term “Born Again,” to imply babes just starting out with a long way to go to maturity. Isn’t this something we all struggle with or tend to gravitate to unless we are diligent with our thoughts and focus? I know that when I became a Christian, I didn’t get a brain transplant. Old wiring, connections, thought patterns, Satan’s strongholds, memories, hurts, wounds, misinterpretations, and experiences were still in there, affecting my view of everything.
If you, too, are living the old life, remember God offers you new life—the life of Christ. The Resurrection affirms the promise Christ made. For it was HIS life he offered to give us new life. We are free to be who He meant us to be when He created us.
Today, when you are stressed or feel down about yourself or your circumstances, stop and ask, “Am I looking at this through the me-centered lens of the old life, or the God-centered lens of the new life?” Adjusting your perspective by yielding to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible will actually stimulate a brain transplant. Paul and Peter call it a renewing of your mind. That is how we all develop the mind of Christ.
Dear Father God, I thank you for the offer and the guarantee of new life. I know what it’s like living with a heart of stone…going through the motions…living in a state of fear and worry. Thank you for turning my heart of stone into a heart that’s alive and can have hope. Thanks for Your work in my life to purge the old self, old man, old ways and renew my mind. Even though I give up, thanks for not giving up on Your goal to finish the work You started. I pray in the name of the reason for my new life, Christ Jesus; and all God’s children said, – AMEN!
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.