Taking advantage of the few remaining hours of daylight on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the eve of winter, I took a stroll with my two dogs. Typical of March, the winds were blustery and biting. It made the walk a challenge for the three of us, but we pressed our way to get a bit of cardio exercise. Facing the force of the wind, I watched dead leaves thrust from their winter resting places. They tumbled down the pavement in an almost dance-like fashion.
The scene reminded me of the Holy Spirit’s power to transform the human heart. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he penned these words:
“But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:14-18, ESV).
When we turn from the charm and distractions of the world and turn to God, the veil is removed. The veil is like a dark opaque curtain that separates us from God. It blocks us from the truth of the gospel. Our view and approach to life are obscure because the liberating light of Christ is hidden from our sight. Paul often refers to this veiled state as the hardened condition of the heart.
When we turn to God, remarkable life changes begin to occur. We are set free from our sin. He sets us free from the guilt of our past. For in Christ, there is no condemnation (read Roman 8:1-3).
There is a freedom to serve a living Savior through our daily interactions with others. There is the freedom to be transformed into Christlikeness through the power of His Word and by His Spirit.
When we surrender our lives to Christ, the brisk winds of His Spirit will change us from our spiritually dead lifeless state into a people who are fully alive.
A woman tried desperately to find happiness and success through human effort. Though busy and productive as defined by man, there was pain and battles both internally and externally. The score was uneven. She was losing more than she was winning. As the struggles mounted, she realized that change was needed. She prayed this simple prayer with a sincere heart, “Lord, help me.”
A new journey began as the Spirit of the living God lifted her from her dead state (worldly, religious, but no relationship with God) and set her on the path to transformation. The battles and struggles of living life on this earth did not come to a screeching halt; however, the Spirit of God remains a constant companion. His Spirit and His word have been the hope and anchor for her soul.
That woman is me. God has delivered me from so many things. In Christ, I have a freedom that I would not have known had I not turned my heart toward Him. I am still on the journey of being transformed into His image, and it has been well worth it.
You might have wounds from the battles of life. You may feel weary and worn. You may not believe that God exists or cares about you because you have experienced frequent and intense episodes of hurt and disappointment. But He does care, and He does love you. There is hope no matter what has happened in your life before today. His name is Jesus. Do not give up on Him, my dear friends. He is knocking at the door of your heart. Please open the door and let Him in.
I leave you with these words of God spoken through the prophet Ezekiel.
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, ESV).