I was struck yesterday by this verse in Colossians: “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace (Colossians 1:6, NLT, emphasis mine).”
Changed lives. That’s what it’s all about. That’s the Good News that God has given us through Christ. It’s not about a ticket to heaven when you die or a healthy, wealthy life as we live. It’s about a life made new because we are new creations(2 Corinthians 5:17) in Christ, with – you guessed it – brand new hearts!
I turn 40 in a couple of weeks but I’m not lamenting (not yet!) because my life is changing for the better every day as I learn to come alive to the Spirit of God living in my new heart. Even the tough days are good because I’m learning to give all that stuff over to God. In fact, God showed me a picture the other day. The narrow road that I walk with Jesus had become a hill and I was struggling to get up it. God showed me that I was carrying burdens (wife, kids, work – the usual) that weren’t mine to carry. I was weighed down when I could have been light and free. I surrendered my load (somewhat reluctantly – it’s amazing how tightly we hang on even when Jesus himself shows up!) and the picture changed. The hill became beautiful with trees and colour everywhere, the sun shining. I was no longer trudging my way up but was cantering up riding a horse. Others were coming too, but instead of being burdened by those who are in my sphere of influence I was free to keep moving because they were in the care of Christ.
Maybe God has a picture for you today. Go ahead and ask him for one and then sit still with eyes closed for 15 minutes and see what happens. Whether he gives you one or not, the point is that Christ is after our hearts and wants our lives to change for the better. If our lives seem static then the temptation is to try harder, do more. Don’t. That’s not the answer. The answer is to let more of Christ into your heart and mind. Do that and he may turn your hills into valleys!