New year? New beginnings? Why not?
New Year’s resolutions will sure be trending again. However, I myself am sure that I do not have the power at whim to change my life and make it anew. No, not in a snap. I began leaning more towards the wonderful and powerful promises that God has in store for us, promises that are filled with hope for you and me.
The “changing of the heart” does not happen overnight; it is a process, truthfully, a never ending process and a lifetime’s work. A process in which you cannot expect smooth sailing, but with plenty of highs and lows.
In The Beginning
Reading the first chapter of Genesis inspired me a fresh insight in relation to this thorough heart-changing process God is doing, and wants to do in our lives.
Like the earth before the Creation, my heart is without form and void, ugly, filthy, and full of darkness. God wants to start a new creation in me. Like the Holy Spirit at the start of that Creation week, God is just hovering upon my heart, moving and waiting for my go signal to create a new spirit in me.
Like the earth on its first “night and day,” this new heart is able to face “good and evil.” Yes, a new heart He creates in me full of liberty, even to the point that I am able to choose evil instead of good most of the time. My choice and my freedom is still there. The decision is mine to finish and finally surrender this brand new heart to Jesus once and for all.
God then creates the firmament to separate the waters from the land, the waters above and the waters below. God is calling us to live an exemplary life, a life that will stand out from the rest, a life that is full of flavor, a living example of faith in action.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9
The new heart He has created in me, God calls to bear fruit after its kind, to bring forth grass, herbs and trees, to bring forth fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
God provided two great lights for me, too; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. I have the Bible to guide my life and the Spirit of Prophecy, the lesser light, is also made available to me. Shall darkness of doubts and fear haunt me, God is so good to provide answers to my ever curious questioning mind.
The Lord invites us to be active in discipleship as well. When He said, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly moving creatures that hath life;” when He said, “Let the fowl fly above the open firmament;” I feel like God is telling me to go, make disciples, help them, support them, nurture them, share the gospel freely and generously like the leaves of the autumn in earth’s highways and byways.
The fullness of God’s goodness is something we cannot fully grasp for now. But for me, by His help and grace, I cling on what my tiny mind can fathom. God is true to His Word and is faithful. And when He promised that He will take out my stony heart and give me a heart of flesh, that promise is sure.
Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard. Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to Him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults. When assailed by temptation, steadfastly resist the evil promptings; say to your soul, “How can I dishonor my Redeemer? I have given myself to Christ; I cannot do the works of Satan.” Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol, and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you. Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour.”
“By faith look upon the crowns laid up for those who shall overcome; listen to the exultant song of the redeemed, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hast redeemed us to God! Endeavor to regard these scenes as real. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in his terrible conflict with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places, exclaimed, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” The Saviour of the world was revealed to him as looking down from heaven upon him with the deepest interest; and the glorious light of Christ’s countenance shone upon Stephen with such brightness that even his enemies saw his face shine like the face of an angel.MYP 112-113
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…” Psalm 51:10
“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will rake the stony heart out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh…” Ezekiel 11:19
May we allow God to start the creation of new heart and spirit in our lives. Soli deo gloria!