Monday, June 3, 2019 -
In these pages, I have cited often the many supernatural miracles God has done in the lives of Kathie and me and our children. But I have come to realize, especially being here in prison, that the greatest miracle of all is the transforming power of salvation in the heart of a human being – including myself!
And in Philippians 1:6 we read that He is never finished transforming us: “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This transformative power is not something that comes from within ourselves. Instead, once we confess our sins and accept His finished work on the cross, it is He that begins the work in us. He initiates it, and He does it. And He never stops until we are with Him in glory!
The problem for us when we are in the walkthrough life is that when we try to do things on our own, we fail. We cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without His power. We cannot overcome bad habits without first surrendering them to God – confessing our own helplessness.
II Thessalonians 5:23-24 says, “May now the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved completely, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass.” What a promise! He promises to do a complete work within us if we just allow Him! We must simply place ourselves in God’s hands – the Master Potter. “But now, oh Lord, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou are the potter; and all of us are the work of Thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8). If we are willing, He is able. The key is allowing Him to do the work – to run the show.
Being here in this prison unit makes this so evident. Those who truly desire to be transformed (in accordance with Romans 12:1-2), are truly transformed. Those who merely say the “sinner’s prayer,” but never truly with their hearts make Christ the Lord of their lives, never change!
Where I am, everyone knows I am a Christian, and so often men come to me and tell me, you know, I’m a Christian too. They tell me about the time they went forward in church, or that they grew up in the church or the fact that their parent and grandparent are Christians. I try not to judge them, but most often they desire to learn nothing more of Christ or grow in the Lord, because their lives haven’t changed an iota, and they have no desire to change. Perhaps the “sinner’s prayer” was merely a ticket to heaven for them.
Yet those who accepted Christ with their whole hearts have been truly transformed from the people they used to be, and are continuing to be transformed. Yes, they still have their struggles, but God is changing them, little by little each and every day – just like He does me.
Have you ever noticed, right before someone who truly loved the Lord goes to be with Jesus, who has over many years experienced this transforming power of the Gospel, they are the most loving, amicable, joyful people you’ve ever met! They can’t get enough of God’s Word, their prayer life becomes more intense, and they become so loving and sweet, perhaps unlike the angry person they used to be. That is the mark of the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in the life of a believer. And the more we submit in our helplessness to the only One who has the power to change our hearts completely, the more we exemplify the fruit of the Spirit, and Christ in us. That is the greatest miracle of all! And so, let us “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Let us press on so that in the end, he may say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”