God wants to do something new in me. And I want Him to!
The jungle is all-too-ready to overgrow and bury me during my careless times. I desperately need a pathway through the wilderness. I have built too many cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water (see Jeremiah 2:13). I know what a dried-up heart is like. I need some rivers of living water to flow through the dry wasteland. And the good news is God has already begun draining the deadness out of me and pumping new life into my parched soul (see Isaiah 43:19).
Why would He do that for me?
When I am haunted by this question, God, in His grace, firmly but gently drives me back to His love demonstrated on the cross. Milton Vincent, the author of A Gospel Primer, writes:
God loved me so much that He was willing to suffer the loss of His Son (see John 3:16; Romans 8:32), and even more amazingly, He was willing to allow His Son to suffer the loss of Him at the cross (see Mark 15:34).
We just celebrated Easter. When God raised Jesus from the dead He validated everything that happened on the cross when He did for me what I could not do for myself. So why do I still have problems with the jungle wrapping around me, and why are there times when I forsake the well of living water to build those cisterns that have already proven to be dry wells?
Obviously, the problem is not with God. So there must be something about me that messes up this newness God wants me to have. Looking at some of the miracles Jesus performed while on earth has helped me come up with a “flight check” to go through every day before I “take off” into this smash-and-grab world. Maybe they will help you come up with a flight check of your own that will help you navigate through the wilderness and find refreshment in the living waters of God.
- Do I really want newness? Jesus approached a man who had been lame for 38 years and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6, NIV). As crazy as it sounds, we can learn to live with “lameness.” We just get comfortable with it.
- Do I understand what I need? A blind beggar in Jericho heard that Jesus came to his town, and began crying out to Jesus. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?,” and the man replied, “I want to see” (Luke 18:41). Sometimes my desire for Jesus’ newness is too vague. When I had surgery for my cancer I knew exactly what I wanted—get that malignant tumor out of me! It should be that way when I go to Jesus. But that takes self-examination, taking a good look at my heart and what is really going on. Am I ready for Jesus to deal with the real problem?
- Do I believe Jesus can do anything? Jesus’ hometown missed out on many miracles because of their unbelief (see Matthew 13:58). A man was so discouraged when Jesus’ disciples could not cast out an evil spirit from his son. It looked so hopeless that he even wondered if Jesus could do anything: “Help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:22-23). To approach my problem in the spirit of hopelessness is to hinder the newness God wants for me. To approach my problem in the spirit of belief is to open my life to God’s redeeming work.
God is ready to give His newness to me in abundance: It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me! (Galatians 2:20). And because of that, I can move from lostness to foundness; from death to life! Yes, I REALLY want to get well.