If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
What makes a Christian “new?” What does it even mean to be “new?” I don’t know why, but I’ve been pondering this a lot lately. When I think of a new creation, I think of my two kids. When they entered this world, I had such an awe and wonder that absolutely everything on this planet was brand new to them. When my daughter was born and I said, “Hey Caroline,” and she looked at me with the most piercing eyes. I knew that she recognized my voice.
Here I am now 11 years into raising her. For 11 years I’ve been trying to win her heart. Sometimes I feel like I have it. Sometimes I feel a million miles away. Either way, I love the journey of pursuing her, teaching her, and instilling a holy fear of God inside of her. It is still amazing to me that 11 years ago, Caroline was brand new to this world.
Twenty-six years ago, I was born again. Ever since that day, God has been pursuing me, and my heart. A 16-year old clueless teenager called his youth group leader because he was too scared to raise his hand and “receive” Jesus in front of his friends. Even though all I did was repeat a simple prayer after him, it was actually the first time I entered the world of “prayer.” It was just crazy to me that I actually talked to God. I asked Him to forgive me for being the way that I was, for hurting the people that I hurt, and for doing the sinful things that I had done and was currently doing. I talked to God and felt the most overwhelming sense of “lightness.“ It was like my weight cut in half in an instant. It was like my soul was just pressure washed.
All of a sudden, I cared about stuff I never cared about before. Before Christ, if I cussed, I didn’t care or give it a second thought at all. But, here I was now with something going off inside of me saying, “We don’t talk like that anymore.” All of a sudden, I had the most intense feeling of “this is wrong” when I was sexually immoral in any way. I would look at my Bible and say, “I really need to read that thing.” I had never thought that before. These feelings were all so new.
I think Americans highly underestimate the value of that first prayer of repentance to God. A sinful, God-hating, Bible-hating, rule hating, sin-loving person just prayed and asked the God of the universe to change them. I believe it is still the greatest miracle that God performs today. It is absolutely astounding. A sinner just basically said, “I’m nothing like You, Jesus . . . make me like You!” It puts the new believer on the path of communicating with God for the rest of our lives, and for all of eternity.
Even after 26 years, there is still so much work left for God to do in my heart, mind, and soul. I’m still in the process of being made new. I think that is the beauty of salvation. A person who gives his or her life to God is in a constant state of being perfected. This perfecting process will go on for all of eternity. My only job is to hold on to Him for dear life. He is the one who makes all things new.
If you’ve never experienced the “newness” of God, there is no better day than today to find out just what that feels like.