We just returned from a quick 3 day trip down to the Palm Springs area of California. We lived there for about 4 years before moving here to Redwood City. We were all amazed at how much the Coachella Valley had changed since the time we had left. New buildings had sprung up in areas where there once was only empty space covered with sand and a few sage brush. Even the old friends we had the opportunity to visit with there had changed. Their “kids” were no longer kids, and some friends had “kids” in their teens. I always find it interesting how things change over time.
Back in the seventies a large furniture chain went through a major overhaul in store layout, inventory, pricing structure, payment plans, and so on. They launched a national advertising campaign to promote the difference: “If you haven’t been to Levitz lately, you haven’t been to Levitz.” The point was that if your impression of their store was based on something you had seen a couple of years ago; you need to come in and get reacquainted, because it’s not the same old place. Everything is new.
This can be true for those who walk with Jesus: If you haven’t seen me lately, you haven’t really seen me at all, because God is doing something new in my life. It can also be true about churches. If you haven’t seen our church lately, you haven’t seen our church … because God is doing something new here. Creating new lives. Changing hearts. Restoring relationships. Opening doors. It’s not the same place it used to be.
God promised this kind of transformation for his people through the prophet Ezekiel.
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
Maybe you’re not proud of who you used to be. Many of us feel the same way about ourselves. But thanks to God’s grace, we can say, “If you haven’t seen me lately, you haven’t seen me.”
Quoting the Apostle Paul as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17–18)
Can you look back and see the transformation today? If not (or if not enough), know that He’s committed to continuing the process of transformation in you, with a new heart, and a new spirit, building for you a new future. Won’t you cry out to Him today to start the process of transformation in your heart today?