Winds of Change

It rained all day yesterday. The temperature reached the mid-forties in the early afternoon. Around supper time, the winds began to pick up. The weather people had warned us: gusts of over fifty miles per hour, they told us. By 10 pm, the temperature was in the teens with wind chills below zero. This coming week will see days of highs less than ten and lows below zero. The forecast calls for windchills of thirty and forty below zero.

It will not be baseball weather here in Indiana a month from now, but they will start spring training in Florida and Arizona in roughly thirty days.

Easter is in late March this year. We should have some lovely days by then. Summer will roll around, and many will complain about the heat in August. October brings the beautiful color of the leaves, then, before we know it, the cold of January.

If it sounds like I am applying for a job as a local weatherman, trust me, I do not want the position. I want to show that things change.

Before you think, “Here comes another article about climate change.” I want you to know this column has nothing to do with climate change. This week’s column is about the changes of life.

Our life begins at conception, and our first nine months are all about change. In eighteen to twenty-one days, our heart begins to beat. Our nose, mouth, and ears begin to take shape at six weeks. In the seventh week, our hands and feet start developing. All our body parts are there by ten weeks, yet not fully developed. At eleven weeks, you start kicking, stretching, and hiccuping. At thirteen weeks, a girl’s ovaries contain over two million eggs. In the fourteenth week, we began sucking our thumb. At nineteen weeks, the five senses are in development.

Once born, change continues. We roll over, sit up, stand, walk, run, ride a bike, the first day of school, drive a car, graduate high school and possibly college, marriage, and have children. As the years go by, we buy different vehicles, move from one place to another, change jobs, our hair changes color, our hair falls out, we experience changes in clothing size, grandchildren appear, and our joints begin to hurt. After a long time, we retire from our jobs. Life seems like a roller coaster of change, just like the weather.

Physically, things change over time. Emotionally, things can change at the snap of a finger. Once again, the winds of change blow.

But how about spiritually? Have things ever changed for you?

We are all born sinners, but we must be born again to have a spiritual change (John 3:3).

At the moment of being born again, the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, and a sanctification process starts. Some sanctification occurs at salvation. I have known people with an addiction who have had no desire for drugs or alcohol from the moment of salvation. This sanctification does not mean that once born again, Christians are sinless; we all struggle with things. However, there is a noticeable change after the rebirth. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

As time passes, Christians will read and study the Bible. We will take heed to ourselves. As this process continues, we notice things in our life that should not be there; we ask God’s help to remove said things. We gain spiritual victory as sin becomes the exception and no longer the rule. We grow spiritually as heart attitudes move from worldly to Christ-like.

The study of the Scripture is the most effective way to bring about spiritual change. Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

I have met people who have told me that they were born again ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or even fifty years ago, yet their lives show no evidence of salvation. Nothing has changed. This lack of change is deeply concerning. The Bible does say there will be a change (See 2 Corinthians 5:17 above).

In Matthew 7:16, Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Paul sheds light on what Jesus was talking about in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Since the Holy Spirit is in the heart of every Christian, Christians should display these fruits in their hearts and lives.

All Christians will struggle with things because our sinful nature is still there. Yet, with the Holy Spirit living inside us, we should grow in the fruits of the Spirit over time. When an individual claims to be a Christian and decades go by with no spiritual growth, some personal inspection into their salvation is needed. Something is wrong. In the physical world, no one would wait twenty years to go to a doctor if a person was still the size of an infant.

The Holy Spirit wants a clean house, and He will start the cleaning process the minute He moves in.