A sure sign you’ve been “born again” – Your “want to” changes!

born aginOne of the biggest changes that occurs in the lives of those who are spiritually reborn (the term in the Bible that is used to describe the experience is “born again” – John 3:3-7) is that their “want to” changes! Instead of primarily desiring to satisfy selfish desires and sinful pleasure, they discover a new longing deep within their lives – the desire to please God! I know that’s what happened to me – my core motivation changed! It was the signal that I had, in the language of Scripture, become “a new creation! The old had passed away; behold, the new had come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This morning, during my time of “coffee with the Lord,” I read a passage that describes well the change that occurred in my life! It’s expressed as a prayer that I fully identify with – that expresses my deepest heart’s cry – my new “want to” after becoming a “born again” Christian… See if you don’t identify with it, and find yourself wanting to adopt its words as your very own…

“O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity – let me not eat of their delicacies! Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness! Let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it!” (Psalm 141:1–5 ESV)

And here is my personal summary and response to that passage of Scripture as a “born again” Christian – someone with a changed “want to!” (In fact, I jotted it in the margin of my Bible today)…

“O Lord, listen to me – hear my heart! I want to say and do what is right! My desire is to please You! And I’m grateful for fellow Christians who keep me accountable and help me stay on the right track!”

God’s thoughts concerning YOU… thinking about it will blow your mind (and bring great comfort)!

The thoughts of God… Here’s the analogy the Bible uses to describe them:

“How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would could them, they are more than the sand.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

Now it could be argued that describes the vastness and quantity of God’s thoughts in general – and that would be an accurate statement. God’s knowledge is macroscopically and microscopically infinite! However, the context of a statement in Scripture, determines it’s intended meaning. In Psalm 139 it is clear that this wonderful and incredible statement reaches beyond the scope of God’s knowledge in general – it applies primarily to His knowledge of one single individual – David, the psalmist (it is, after all, “a psalm of David”)!

Think of it… God’s knowledge of YOU – His thoughts concerning YOU! His thoughts are as vast as all the dunes of sand combined on planet earth… And God thoughts concerning you are as specific and detailed as each single grain of sand in each dune! As David reflected upon it, it blew His mind… God’s thoughts, purposes, and awareness of every detail of his life, began before he was ever born, encompassed every detail of his life on earth, and continued on into eternity future. And that’s God’s awareness – His thoughts – concerning YOU!

Here’s just a taste of how the rest of the Psalm expresses it…

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it…

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them…”

And my response… in the words of the Psalmist? “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand!” Oh, I rest in the thought… I relish the thought of it!

(From Psalm 139:1–6, 13-18 ESV)

Oh, for a quiet confidence in the midst of trials! How can it be possible? Psalm 138:6-8!

Quiet confidenceNever saw anything like it!  They encountered one problem after another… physical, financial, personal and of course you would expect emotional, and even spiritual.  No complaints – no whining… the two of them weathered them all with a quiet confidence!  It left me in awe!  How could they do it – what was their secret?

Have you ever observed something like that?  What is the secret?  Well today, during my time of “coffee with the Lord.” I think I got a partial answer from the Bible…

“Though the Lord is high, He regards the lowly! … Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life! … Your right hand delivers me!  The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me!  Your steadfast love [Your “covenant keeping love” – Your “Hesed”] endures forever!  O do not forsake the work of your hands!” (From Psalm 138:6-8)

Confidence in God – “faith” if you please – makes it possible to face challenges, difficulties, pain, and reverses with a quiet confidence in the One who “will fulfill His purposes for us!”  Oh, the steadfast, covenant-keeping love of God!  May it grip my heart, control my emotions, and govern my life!  I pray it will in your life and circumstances today!

%d bloggers like this: