Today in my quiet time with God I went to my devotional My Utmost for His Highest and today’s bible verse came out of John chapter 3. For some context I included the entire story that it comes from and bolded today’s highlighted verse.
There was a man the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”
Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Do not be amazed that I
told you that you must
be born again. John 3:7
“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.
“Are you a teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. “I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you do not accept Our testimony. If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven– the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.”
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.”
“This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and the people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
First, have you personally experienced Christ move in your life? Christ moving in your life means that God does something that you yourself cannot do and you see it accomplished by him. I have seen God move in my life and in others lives many times. I have seen people get jobs because friends are praying for them, people be able to pay for schooling when before they couldn’t, and in my life I have seen healing that only God can do. God shows up! God is there, and he has power to do things that people can’t even believe is possible such as making a wrenched thing, like myself, a new creation.
Second, Chambers asks “do I see God’s kingdom? Do I see God’s control of the world?” Between the news and issues in our own lives it is sometimes hard to see God’s hand in the middle of everything. Yet at the same time He is the author of this story that we call life and even earthly authors don’t start writing a novel without some kind of a plan. God has one too. The same stories I mentioned above show God’s control of every situation.
Lastly, Chambers talks about sin. He asks “do I still live in sin the same way I would if I wasn’t a Christian?” This question is vitally important because as Christians we have the Holy Spirit in our lives. God has placed in our lives the power to over come sin. Now that does not mean we won’t sin, it just means that we no longer are required to sin. As humans our natural reaction to life is to sin and do what we shouldn’t do. The One Republic song “Counting Stars” gets it right:
And I I I I feel something so right by doing the wrong thing
And I I I I feel something so wrong by doing the right thing
I could lie, couldn’t I, couldn’t I?
Every thing that kills me makes me feel alive.
This passage of scripture accurately displays how one becomes a Christian, therefore I think that Oswald Chambers was right in putting it with an analysis of a persons faith. I know that I sometimes fail the last question. It’s really difficult to always rely on God’s strength the way that we should, but I know that God helps even in that. Our willingness grants space for God to move in and around our lives. Within the past few months a good friend of mine told me something along the lines of “God is always working on our lives, even when we sleep.”