“I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh”
Jesus did not die upon the cross to make the Christian life more difficult. He died to do what we could not do for ourselves. He died to set us free from the bondage and effects of sin and weakness that separated us from the Father. He came to open up for us a completely new life and understanding – to help us to ‘have another go at life’ – a new life, a different life, a life in the amazing love, grace and warmth of God. He then sent the Holy Spirit to be, amongst other things, the loving, understanding, supporting, comforting, encouraging and empowering presence of God with and within us.
In whatever state we find ourselves – in weakness, failure, no self-worth, sin, bondage, fear and despair and just not measuring up – the answer is not just to try harder once again. It is to go to God, to keep going to God our wonderful Father, Saviour and Comforter – to tell Him how we feel, what we’ve done or failed to do, and that we just do not seem able or willing to change ourselves. Sometimes, in fact, we may discover that, although we should want to change, the truth is that we don’t, really. We can tell God all these things and ask for His forgiveness, help, healing and transforming work within us – and the strength to begin living a new and different life.
His Spirit makes the difference, not ours – and the fruit of the Spirit, not of ourselves, includes self-control. Press into the wonderful love and acceptance of God. Don’t fear Him but trust Him. He loves you so much, has already done so much for you, and is willing and able to do even more. Trust Him and not yourself. He is Love.
It is God who changes our hearts – taking away the self-centred passions and fears and replacing them with love and peace and blessing, and the wonder of a new and developing relationship with Him and others.
Even where you doubt your willingness for change tell God that you are ‘willing to be made willing.’
Father, before anything else, please help me to trust Your great love for me – just as I am with all my weaknesses and sin. Please Holy Spirit comfort, strengthen and encourage me forward and bring into my life the qualities and fruit that You desire. In Jesus Name, Amen.