You ever look back at yourself and think about how much God has changed you? I do it all the time. Just recently I found myself in several situations that left me in awe of my own response to those situations. In those moments of testing I realized that I handled them totally differently than I would have just a few years ago. It was in those situations that God revealed something so impactful to me about myself and about him. He has been changing my heart this entire time. He has been healing me, restoring me and stripping away the hardened parts of my heart. I can clearly see significant changes in myself that I could have never fixed within myself. Where there was anger, bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness, now there is compassion, empathy, love and forgiveness in its place. Although I do recognize that I am still an imperfect person and can do nothing without Christ. I also see clearly that God has been answering my prayer and has been removing the old and replacing it with that which is from him instead. What a blessing to have him show such kindness to me in the places where I truly needed him the most, in my character! What character changes have you noticed within yourself?
Seriously, take a couple of minutes and consider that question. What character changes have been made in you over the past few years? Where do you see yourself growing to look more like Christ? The enemy would have us remain in constant focus on all of our short comings. Honestly focusing on our failures is depressing and causes us to be stagnant. But when we shift our focus to Jesus and to his character and ways. We learn how to take on his heart posture, that’s when we can see ourselves differently. We began to see God manifest Christ’s character in us and through us, and it shows. That’s what it means for Jesus’ light to shine through us.
2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us:
God once said “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.
One thing we must be sure to do is to remain humble as we see these Christ like changes happening within us. It can be easy to start looking at what is right with us and what is wrong with everyone else. That is a dangerous road that leads us backward! We must remember that it is Jesus who is manifesting his character through us by his spirit. The glory belongs to God and God alone. There is nothing good enough that we could ever do to clean ourselves up, it is only our surrender to the father that allows us to be changed. Without Christ’s spirit operating through us, we are left with a heart of stone. It is God who softens our hearts to be more like him.
Ezekial 36:26 shows this to us.
I will also put a new spirit in you to change your way of thinking. I will take out the heart of stone, and put in you a tender human heart.
Ezekial 11:19 says:
I will bring them together and make them like one person. I will put a new spirit in them. I will take away the heart of stone, and I will put a real heart in its place.
I challenge you today to do a heart check. We hear that said often figuratively but I mean literally do it on paper. Write down 10 character traits that you can clearly see God has changed in your heart. Then write down 10 character flaws that you can clearly see that you have. Then OWN THEM! Accept all of it and then pray a simple prayer. Ask God to continue to increase himself through you in the strong areas, and to decrease you more in the weak areas. Believe that he will do it just as you know he has done before and trust him to take care of it. Watch and see the changes continue to manifest in you over time. Soon you will be looking back and thanking God again for the surgery he has done in your heart. Until our next chat, be blessed.