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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Searching for God in All the Wrong Places

How do you explain the change that God brings upon an individual? Many people on the outside do not understand it. They see that a friend, who was participating with them in their way of thinking, changed overnight. They assume that the friend is delusional. The friend cannot explain why he has changed. He talks different. His way of looking at things is different. Those who have never experienced this change do not believe they would be able to accomplish the same change. They don't want to.

"Surely, my friend will come to his senses. This must be a religious phase. How can he change like this? What kind of power has come over him?" are the thoughts of those who have never experienced this change. In a way, they are right. There has been a power that has come over the believer. They are like an engine that has just been started. It was cold and lifeless but the spark was ignited and now it hums with power. They are like a house that was once lifeless. It was silent and decaying. Now, the house has an inhabitant who is improving its looks.

Those who have never experienced this change often believe in God. They just don't believe He can inhabit a person. They just don't believe He can be personally known. They struggle with the observation of someone whom they have known becoming someone else. It may even scare them. They want to explain it psychologically and may even read (supposed) studies which boil the whole experience down to psychology and physiology. They struggle with the idea of a Holy Spirit or even spirits in general.

God came to live in that individual. It is not religion that changed the person. It is not their effort to change. It is the outside force of the Holy Spirit coming to make a difference. The changed person's spirit became alive. His heart of stone was exchanged for a heart of flesh. He finally sees his purpose of giving God glory. He understands forgiveness for the first time. He gives grace where he never gave grace. He has wisdom because he listens to God. His whole person has been changed.

There are a lot of fakers in the church. They claim to have been changed by God but careful examination of their lives reveals a person who is simply masking their original condition. They are unchanged at the heart though they may be a fully dunked member of the church. They may even get into church leadership. They may even learn the lingo of the believers. They may be the only ones who know their hearts are vacant. They assume that is the condition of everyone who call themselves believers.

The change that Jesus brings into an individual's life is not explainable. It can only be experienced. It is supernatural.

People will search for the evidence of God everywhere. They will explain away the evidence every time they see Him. Yet, the evidence for the presence of God is not in some scientific study. It is not in the paranormal.

It (He) is found in the changed heart of a true believer.

Romans 8:9 (NIV)
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

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