By Femi Aribisala
Those were the days when every other word out of your mouth was a swear word.
The natural-looking glass has distortions. When you see yourself, you don’t see the real you. But the perfect law of liberty sees you perfectly. It describes you accurately. If you want to know about yourself don’t ask Ngozi or Tunde. Go and read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount because it describes you precisely.
All you see in the looking glass is the body of death. All you see is the flesh, which is crucified, and which is bound eventually to go to dust. What you do not see is your new heart. The heart of flesh that replaced the old heart of stone. A heart that finds sin abhorrent.
The heart of stone calls iniquity “no big deal.” But the heart of flesh always grieves because of sin. Your heart now has an incredible capacity to receive the things of God. It is there that the Holy Spirit dwells. Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but Jesus now has your heart on which to lay His head.
Love of God
One of the first assignments of the Holy Spirit is to shed the love of God in your heart. This means, whether you fully realise this or not, you are now head over heels in love with Jesus. There is nobody as precious to you in heaven and on earth as Jesus. You are now so overwhelmed by the love of God, that your heart burns with affection for Jesus.
It was you that the psalmist was talking about when he said: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2).
Now you just cannot help talking about Jesus. Indeed, people are getting fed up with you because you are always talking about Jesus. Everything is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. You seem to be determined to introduce the whole world to Jesus.
You are completely sold out to Jesus. Everything about you is defined and determined by Him. You love what Jesus loves: you hate what Jesus hates. Everything you do is for one purpose; that Jesus may be glorified.
Never mind what your useless good-for-nothing flesh continues to say: your soul is forever blessing God and praising him. You are continually making melody to God in your heart.
Let no one mislead you, you love to talk to God. By the time some people have dressed up their vainglories as prayer and embellished it with highfalutin scriptures, you may be inclined to disqualify yourself. Don’t fall for that malarkey. You are accepted in the beloved of God.
Have you ever met a child who does not like to talk to his mother? In fact, the first word a child learns is “mummy.” Similarly, you have received the spirit of adoption whereby you call God: “Abba Father.” You know Him as your Daddy.
You used to read the bible without understanding many of the things written there. But now when you read the bible, everything makes perfect sense to you. You have suddenly discovered that you tremble at the word of God. The more you read the bible, the better you feel.
Don’t ask me how or why, after reading the bible you just know that everything is all right. You just know that God is in control and that you are covered. That is why every day, you store more and more of the word of God in your heart. You love to meditate on the word and to turn it over in your mind. As a result, you know more about God today than you ever did. Every day you are increasing in the knowledge of His will.
It did not use to be like that, but now you delight to do the will of God. And you know what” God knows that you are now determined to obey all his commandments.
Now you love righteousness and you hate and detest evil. Sin is no longer fun. Now any time you fall into sin, you are completely overshadowed by godly sorrow. You just feel so terrible, and you have no peace until you take the matter to the Lord with a broken spirit and a contrite heart, and quickly bring it under the blood for cleansing.
The new you
Shall I tell you more about yourself? You are a wonderful listener. You can listen to people and empathise with them for hours on end and not be bored. Did you know that? I bet you did not even know that. You can enter into the pain of others and share their burdens.
When you speak now, kind words come out. Your words encourage people. Your words build people up.
Often you are amazed at some of the things you tell people, because your words are so full of wisdom. Don’t be amazed. You see, God has made your tongue the pen of a ready writer. Without any fanfare, and without your knowing it, God has poured grace into your lips. That is the reason why when you speak; you speak what is good and edifying. You say things that impart grace to those who hear you.
Those were the days when every other word out of your mouth was a swear word. Those were the days when you loved to gossip; when you loved to bad-mouth people. Can you remember those days when you used to be malicious and hateful? Those days are now history. You only read about them in the obituaries.
Now you are at peace with everybody. You simply don’t have the energy or the inclination to fight anybody anymore. Now you are tender-hearted, inclined to forgive everyone and anyone who offends you.
You no longer lose your temper. Even when you get angry now, you don’t sin. The reason is simple. You would never allow the sun to go down on your anger. And the last thing you would ever want to do is to grieve the precious Holy Spirit.
Pilgrim on earth
Have you noticed that you no longer feel at home in this world? Have you noticed that all those things that seem to be so vital and so important just don’t seem to matter anymore?
Like a thief in the night, God has stolen the joy in the world from your heart. Now you wonder what the big deal is about being a Senator, or a Governor. Frankly, you no longer know what a lot of people are on about.
So, beloved, just say this after me. I am very patient. I am very kind. I am never jealous or envious. I am never boastful or proud. I am never haughty or selfish or rude. I never demand to have my way. I am never irritable or touchy. I don’t hold grudges. I hardly even notice it when others wrong me. I am never glad about injustice. I always rejoice whenever the truth wins out. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
That is what makes me a son of God. God is love and I am his loving son. I am a butterfly: I am no longer a caterpillar.