There is a mantra that is consistent now especially in our clime; and that is “change”. From east to west and north to south, the people are tired of the status quo and they desire a paradigm shift in order to realize their dreams and aspirations. This is not new; it is a phenomenon that had been with man since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, as much as people may desire change, there is always a struggle to shift from the comfortable questionable status quo to the desired one; especially when they realize it takes boldness and determination to shift.
In the Scriptures, an account opened in Matthew chapter 3 with the description of John the Baptist when he began his ministry; so many flocked to him to be baptized by him after they had confessed their sins. In spite of the fact that he did not perform any miracle, they still came in their hundreds to be rid of their sins as they desired a fresh start. The Pharisees and Sadducees, the teachers of God’s Law at the time were not left out. What John said to them is still very relevant in our time today. It is not enough to claim the new life without producing the fruit that is consistent with a repentant life (Matthew 3:8b). The same scenario played out during the days of Eli the priest. At that time, the children of Israel went to battle with the Philistines with the presumption that they would win being the chosen ones; they were soundly beaten and their confidence (the Ark of God) was captured from them (1Samuel 4)! The Ark of God, without the people’s wholehearted obedience to God was an ordinary box. It was not in the amount of shouting or mouthing the right words that will propel God to fight on their behalf. Samuel then gave them the condition that will ensure their victory: “…If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines” (1Samuel 4:3). God is the same then, now and forevermore!
If truly we are born again, then the fruit of our lives must bear witness of this change. This means, that attitudes that were the norm in our old life must be put aside. We cannot claim to be children of God but are comfortable with lying, arrogance, pride, jealousy, cheating and the likes. Like John warned the Pharisees and Sadducees, we are told not to think because we are born again, if we walk in our old lives with its character and attitudes, then it will be very presumptuous of us to think we would walk in victory against the forces of darkness or even escape the coming wrath of God upon a sinful world: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Friend, desiring a change and growth in our spiritual and physical lives is great but we must cultivate a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that is devoid of the old man and its baggage. As a child of God that still exhibits the old nature, it is because that nature is still evident in the heart. Thus, such will exhibit it no matter how one tries. It is time for a total overhaul of our hearts: A complete change from the attitudes and character of flesh to exhibiting the character and attitude of God. That is why it is very sad to see brethren walk in the flesh by exhibiting rage, jealousy, pride and the likes at the slightest provocation and deceive themselves that it was a ‘moment of weakness’, which does not really matter. Friend, don’t be deceived, it does matter! The children of Israel carried the Ark into their camp; shouted, yelled and made so much noise that the very ground shook. All their theatrics did not make God come into their midst. Friend, your yelling, whistling, shouting, tithing, giving and the likes will not make God stand for you except you are truly standing in Him. Therefore, if you don’t take out that which is not right from the inside, it is a matter of time before it manifests on the outside: “a good man produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil” (Matthew 12:35). Open your heart to the Lord and talk to Him about those inner struggles with attitudes that are not of Him and trust Him to take them away; so you can walk in the true change of heart which ensures a constant victorious life. God bless you.