I wanted to offer a follow up post to the vision I shared yesterday. I have been praying a little more about it and there are some things the Lord has revealed that I think will benefit our community.
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh,” Exekiel 11:19
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2
I share those two texts for the following reasons: in the first text, God performs “open heart” surgery – taking out something bad and replacing it with something good, namely our hearts. God indicates that He will give us a new spirit, but doesn’t address the removal of the old one. Lastly, in Romans, God exhorts us through Paul to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Why is this important?
Because Christians are not gussied up “Mr. Potato Heads.” We can’t just go about pretending to pop off all of the things we don’t like and look for a new pair. While I can imagine popping off my eyes or ears and receiving new ones from Jesus it wont happen in Reality – why? Because God doesn’t want it to. Our God is the God of redemption.
So often, we as Christians want to bail out early from the process of sanctification. Could God miraculously transform our hearts, minds, emotions and bodies into the exact image of Christ? Absolutely. But He would rather work through the process of redemption. He would rather stand with us as we try, fail, look to Him and try again. I don’t think that God is looking for people who can stand up in their own strength. I think God is looking for people who can stand because they are leaning on their Beloved (Song of Songs 8:5).
When we work through the process of redemption/sanctification we learn the humility, wisdom, compassion and grace that we need to utilize the gifts God has given to us without bringing harm to ourselves or others. If Jesus had to learn obedience through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), how much more do we?
God has given us enough, we are well equipped for the journey. We have a new heart – to honestly love Him and earnestly desire to seek Him. We have a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, to be our Teacher and Counselor and Guide. As we are obedient to love, listen and obey we will find our minds renewed and our lives transformed. The glory of humanity is to overcome and there would be no victory if there were no struggle. Press on my friends and don’t give up.