This past Sunday the Pastor was again on point. He was very passionate in his deliverance, and it stirred a fire on the inside of me. There were moments when I simply wanted to jump up and shout, "Hallelujah!" One statement in particular was power filled and I have not been able to get it off my mind or heart. He said, "If you believe in the Gospel but your life has not changed, then you do not believe in the Gospel!" WOW!!! Let's be blunt and preach! Nothing more powerful than to hear a Pastor preach the Word, without sugarcoating it or sidestepping the truth to pacify their congregation.
I did an article ... or was it a video, I don't know ... awhile back on a similar note. I said, "How do you know if you are saved, or if you have a personal relationship with Christ?" Basically, the answer was the same. If you are not showing fruit in your life ... if you have not changed from where you were prior to giving your heart to Christ ... if your life has not grown for His glory from one year to the next, then I would have to say "No, you are not saved or you do not have that personal relationship that Jesus seeks to have with each and everyone of us. You do not know the Gospel".
The Bible tells us that when we give our hearts over to Christ ... when we repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness ... when we ask Him to be Lord over our lives, then His Spirit comes to live on the inside of us. At that time, the Holy Spirit becomes our compass ... your mind is renewed ... your eyes are open for the first time ... your hearing has spiritual understanding ... your mouth speaks of Him and not of this world.
My life from 20 years ago is so very different from the life I live today. I do not see things as I used to see them. I hear God speak to me through His Holy Spirit. I forgive faster. I am more patient. I strive to serve Him in all that I do ... in all that I say ... in all that I am. I see my glass as half full regardless of what I may be going through. I am so thankful for the small things in life.
I shared in one of my videos how I stood in the shower one day and simply praised God for hot water. It was a day when my body was wracked with pain throughout. The cascading of the hot water over my body was so soothing. It became apparent to me, as I stood there, just how blessed I was. God reminded me of the many who would kill … literally … to have water as I do. Could I see myself thinking such thoughts 20 years ago … NO!
I have a great deal further to go in my growing, but when I look back from whence I came, I can see changes which astonish even me. I can see His hand on me each step of the journey. I long to serve Him in everything.
The Bible tells us in more than one place that we should be renewing our minds. When Christ comes to dwell with you, when His Spirit is actively living on the inside of you, the way you think about things should be changing daily. When your thoughts change, your life takes on a different meaning. You deal with people differently. You react to situations differently. You love differently. You mourn differently. You cannot help it. It all comes in the same package and is special delivery from Him.
In Romans 12:2 (ESV) it says, "Do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Yet again, in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV) it again says, "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
Another place it says, "And to be renewed in the spirit of your minds." (Ephesians 4:23 ESV)
You cannot be walking with God leading and your thoughts not be transformed. If you are still having the same negative thoughts as you have always had … if you are still easily offended … if you still see your glass as half empty, then you need to question whether you have a relationship with your Heavenly Father.
As the Pastor so eloquently stated, "If you say you believe in the Gospel and your life has not changed, then you do not believe." What are your thoughts and actions telling you today?
Janet L. Nicholson
Published Author and Writer