When you give your life to Jesus, he changes everything.
If you’ve been a Christian for a long time, or if you’re not yet familiar with what it means to follow Jesus, this might not seem very obvious to you, but it’s true. As a pastor, I watch this reality lived out in people right in front of me each day.
They give their lives to Christ, and he completely changes them. Second Corinthians says we actually become a new creation.
This process is exciting, and yet it is also mysterious. It’s tangible, and yet it’s also miraculous. I’ve seen this process take place in even the most unlikely people, and I’ve seen it happen even more quickly than you might expect. God is truly so faithful to do His work in those who are willing to submit their lives wholly to Him.
Here’s what it often looks like:
1. Their thoughts change.
Where they used to lack a curiosity about spiritual things, now they have questions. It’s almost as if God plants these questions in their brains so they can explore truth and come to new understanding about Him. Not only are they curious and asking questions, though, they are also receptive to new information.
Where their mind used to be closed about issues, now it’s open. Where there used to be confusion, now there is clarity.
2. Their ideas change.
As their thoughts change, their ideas also seem to change. What used to seem like a small issue (gossip, jealousy, bitterness, hatred) now seems like a huge obstacle in the way of relating to God and following him. What used to feel like a huge obstacle (porn, alcohol, lying) now seems like such a small battle in comparison to the power they’ve been given.
Where their ideas used to be dictated by their idols and addictions, now they are influenced by the love of Christ. Where there used to be darkness, now there is hope.
3. Their desires change.
What this person used to want to do, now he or she doesn’t want to do. If there used to be a desire for drunkenness, now there is a desire for a sober mind. Where there used to be a desire for rebellion, now there is a desire for obedience. I’ve also seen those who are new in Christ have brand new passions and desires take root.
For example, this person might have a newfound desire to read the Bible, to pray or to go to church many times each week.