Changing Our Nature
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“I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and help you live by my rules and carefully obey my laws” (Ezekial 36:26–27, NCV).
My dog Molly and I aren’t getting along. The problem is not her personality. A sweeter mutt you will not find. She sees every person as a friend and every day as a holiday. I have no problem with Molly’s attitude. I have a problem with her habits.
Eating scraps out of the trash. Licking dirty plates in the dishwasher. Dropping dead birds on our sidewalk and stealing bones from the neighbor’s dog. Shameful! Molly rolls in the grass, chews on her paw, does her business in the wrong places, and, I’m embarrassed to admit, quenches her thirst in the toilet.
Now what kind of behavior is that?
Dog behavior, you reply.
You are right. So right. Molly’s problem is not a Molly problem. Molly has a dog problem. It is a dog’s nature to do such things. And it is her nature that I wish to change. Not just her behavior, mind you. A canine obedience school can change what she does; I want to go deeper. I want to change who she is.
Here is my idea: a me-to-her transfusion. The deposit of a Max seed in Molly. I want to give her a kernel of human character. As it grew, would she not change? Her human nature would develop, and her dog nature would diminish. We would witness, not just a change of habits, but a change of essence. In time Molly would be less like Molly and more like me, sharing my disgust for trash snacking, potty slurping, and dish licking. She would have a new nature. Why, Denalyn might even let her eat at the table.
You think the plan is crazy? Then take it up with God. The idea is his.
What I would like to do with Molly, God does with us. He changes our nature from the inside out! (see Ezek. 36:26–27, NCV).
God doesn’t send us to obedience school to learn new habits; he sends us to the hospital to be given a new heart. Forget training; he gives transplants.
Do you understand what God has done? He has deposited a Christ seed in you. As it grows, you will change. It’s not that sin has no more presence in your life, but rather that sin has no more power over your life. Temptation will pester you, but temptation will not master you. What hope this brings!
It’s not up to you! Within you abides a budding power. Trust him!
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). God will do with you what I only dream of doing with Molly. Change you from the inside out. When he is finished, he’ll even let you sit at his table.
From Next Door Savior
Copyright (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006) Max Lucado
Used by permission
Question: How are you seeing God working in you to change your life?