In the Old Testament, God’s chosen people were often disobedient to His Word. Sometimes they would get so off track that they would worship idol Gods. This was something that goes totally against the grain of God’s love. Our Heavenly Father has laws, statutes, and commandments that govern creation. He’s a Great Big Wonderful God, and He holds everything together with the glue of His love. In Exodus 20:3, He commanded His people that they shouldn’t worship other gods, or have any other gods before Him. He is the Creator, and He is also the Source and Supplier of our needs. Our trust in this truth builds our relationship with Him.
Much like today, when it came to their relationship with God, His chosen people in the Old Testament ran hot one day and cold the next. The thing that we have to remember is that even though they didn’t always stick by God, He still loved them and wanted a relationship with them. In Jeremiah 17:4, He warned that the wonderful possession He had for them would slip through their hands if they didn’t get it together and recognize not only who He is, but who they were through Him. This is what Heavenly Father desires so much from us, that we will see Him as a loving Father that wants to take care of us, and that we will also see the highest vision of ourselves through the eyes of His love.
Why was this so hard to understand for people living in Old Testament times, and why is it hard for those of us living today? In Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT), God gives us incredible insight about the human heart. He said, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” The heart that God is talking about in this verse isn’t referring to the organ that pumps blood throughout our bodies. He’s talking about the heart of our souls. It pumps life or death into every aspect of our lives. This is why God warns us in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT), to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” God tells us to guard our hearts because in them contains the potential to bring about good or evil.
We are three-part beings; spirit, soul, and body. The heart and mind are parts of the soul. They are gateways, allowing the soul to receive and give out. The soul hungers. Therefore, you and I must also understand that it needs food. This is a fact of life. We determine the kind of diet it will be fed. Either we will feed it the good food of God’s Word, or we will feed it the stuff that comes from the world. The stuff that comes from the world is mostly toxic. God warns us in Romans 12:2 (NLT), “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
In this one verse in Romans 12:2, God gives us several juicy nuggets on which to feast. One of which is the reality that He will transform us as we change the way we think. God is not going to come inside our brains and begin throwing the bad stuff out and putting the good stuff in. No! He has told us to do this. And when He tells us to do something, He is not going to do it for us. In Colossians 3:10(NLT), through the Apostle Paul, God tells us, “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
God wants to change our hearts so that we love each other, love ourselves, and love Him from a good place in our hearts; but we must desire this for ourselves. When we learn to love with the love of God, we can abide in His peace. Many of us like the sound of this, but in our hearts, we’re kinda hungering for the opposite of it. We have so much fear, and we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough to receive what Heavenly Father has for us. And some of us even tell ourselves that what God has for us isn’t going to meet our expectations. A lot of women secretly feel this way about their relationships. They hang on to the man when they’re not being treated well, because they convince themselves that they won’t find someone that is going to be truly loving towards them. Some of us just don’t like the idea of change. We want to continue as we have been.
Well life just doesn’t work that way. God designed it to be dynamic and ever changing. Life doesn’t flex and bend to us, we have to flex and bend to it. We must have the spiritual flexibility and strength to stand in the midst of life with the authority of Christ. This is when it becomes the thing of beauty that God intended it to be. But we’re stubborn, and we’ve got all kinds of excuses and reasons to remain that way. So, when life throws a monkey wrench at us, or more to the point, when the devil comes to steal our joy and reap havoc in our lives, we must have confidence that God’s given us a way to stand in victory, and it is to allow Him to transform us through Jesus Christ by changing the way we think.
Our minds and heart must come along for the ride, and go hand and hand with our desire to see the possibilities God has designed life to offer, but we must deal with the reality that we’ve got some baggage, and a lot of it is weighing us down. Sometimes we blame God for the things that happen to us, when we have blocked Him out. We need to change our appetites so that we hunger for the love that Jesus Christ offers. Heavenly Father knows the person we were meant to be, and He promises that He will transform us into this person—a person that will have unlimited capacity for good. Heavenly Father wants to show you what He can do for your life. He’s always wanted to show His people this, and when our faith in Him meets our desire to be transformed, we will be amazed by what He does.■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Transformed by God!” written for OvercomingDomesticViolence.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!