This morning as I was walking and talking with God in the wonder of a glorious spring morning, a morning filled with the promise of the new life that follows winter, my mind turned to the words of the Apostle Paul, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (II Corinthians 5:17).
My mind then turned to the following quote by Ravi Zacharias, “The first entailment of coming to know the God of transformation is the new hungers and new pursuits that are planted within the human will. I well recall that dramatic change in my own way of thinking. There were new longings, new hopes, new dreams, new fulfillments, but most noticeably a new will to do what was God’s will. This new affection of heart…the love of God wrought in us through the Holy Spirit…expels all other old seductions and attractions. The one who knows Jesus Christ begins to see that her own misguided heart is impoverished and in need of constant submission to the will of the Lord…spiritual surrender. The hallmark of conversion is to see one’s own spiritual poverty (Matthew 5:3). A deep awareness of one’s own new hungers and longings is a convincing witness both to God and God’s grace within.”
Ravi said that part of the evidence of the new birth in Christ is new longings. I couldn’t agree more, for if the Spirit of Christ now lives within the believer, it is obvious that will He create new longings, longings for God’s Word, longings to talk with God in prayer, longings to be with God’s people.
On the night that I was born again, the feelings that filled my heart were so powerful and life-changing that I could not wait to return home and look in the mirror, so radical was the change in my heart and mind I was convinced that because I felt so different I must also look different. I was bowled over by the new longings that filled my heart! I began to desire things that I had never desired before. I began to detest things that I had never detested before. Indeed, all things became new and the old things began passing away.
And today, the longings that He creates are greater than ever before: the more I study God’s Word, the more I want: the more time I spend in His presence, the more time I desire to be there; the more time I spend with God’s people the more I long for their company. These are the longings that fill my heart, along with new hopes, new dreams, new fulfillments and new desires to do His will.