I recently purchased a new stove complete with bells and whistles that my old, defunct stove doesn’t have. But before the new stove could be installed, I had to deal with an appalling amount of dirt and grime that lay hidden behind the old one. Holding my nose to ward off the smell of caked-on grease, I was only too happy to get down on hands and knees, scrubbing the surface in preparation for my spanking, new appliance.
As I cleaned, I thought about my heart B.C.—that is, my heart before it “Belonged to Christ.” I wasn’t a murderer or an armed robber or even a cat burglar. I was just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill sinner, going my own way. Despite trying to be a “good person,” I had already broken many of God’s commandments during my twenty-one years on earth. Since I didn’t even know whether God existed, I allowed myself to pick and choose which of his commandments I would observe. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Well, I was pretty much my own god, doing what I wanted. “Honor your father and mother.” Okay, as long as they acted in a way that commanded my respect. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” I didn’t see anything wrong with using a bit of colorful language from time to time. What was the big deal?
As you can see, I had only a surface understanding of what God was asking. When Christ became real to me, all that changed. I wanted to live a different life. Eager to prepare my heart for the God whose goodness I had begun to suspect, I was only too happy to get down on my knees and invite Christ in. Immediately I felt his presence. All the sin and grime that lay hidden in my heart was flushed to the surface and washed away. My apprehension about the present and the future fled as I felt the perfect peace of God sweep over me.
Christ’s peace comes when we turn to God, admitting our sins and surrendering our lives. Don’t waste this chance to know his peace.
Image courtesy of bark at flickr.com