Change my heart oh Lord, make it ever true. Change my heart oh Lord, may I be like you..
The words of a song that kept resonating in my head one summer afternoon in the month of August. I had just finished having a long chat with my boyfriend on why I no longer wanted to continue sinning, and why I wanted to live a life exemplary of Christ, imploring him to do the same. Words spoken, but difficult for him to swallow…
After interceding on his behalf, I wondered: “when did the sudden desire to change begin?” I had always considered myself to be a Christian & growing up in the Catholic church, I had acceded to all stages (from baptism to confirmation), professing my faith in the Catholic religion, only to leave it right after in search of a church that would be more inspiring and able to help build my faith. Of course, God did respond and led me to greener pastures. Not long after finding someplace to call “home”, I got baptized and became a member.
Was it then that I became a true Christian?
Far from it! Despite the fact that I had freely and willingly undergone this act which symbolized my rebirth, I did not fully understand the implications of my decision or more so, what was required of me as a Christian. In fact, it was always a back and forth like many others’ experiences. I wanted to grow in Christ but I would not stop surrendering to the desires of the flesh.
To put it simply, I wanted to go to heaven, but I didn’t want to stop enjoying my “youth”.
Indeed, I prayed every morning and every night & read my Bible when the Spirit was upon me but did not want to miss a night out with my friends or any opportunity to go dancing.
Five years went by in that lukewarm nature. Yes! FIVE years! (But thank God that He gave me more time and He did not abandon His lost sheep.)
Clearly, back then I did not have a full understanding of God’s love for me even though I knew the teachings. The messages would come to me through different mediums and despite my “intellectual capacity”, it was not enough. I still did not understand nor was I inclined to get to know Him better. It was evident that I was living a lie – a life of hypocrisy that would lead me straight to hell! I knew it, I wanted to change it. As a matter of fact, I just wanted to go to Heaven. When did that change come?
The summer of 2018 was a catalyst for my change…
Fortunately for me, my university had accorded me the opportunity to go to Jamaica to conduct research at the University of the West Indies. Whilst over there, God spoke to me in so many ways! I could not help but find myself in awe of the natural beauty of the island and the kind-hearted people that God had sent my way. They were genuinely helpful and friendly people. There was one in particular who devoted his life to changing the world by helping people. His assurance in who he was and his purpose left me so flabbergasted. His spirituality had stirred up within me the desire to find out my purpose on this earth and since then, Christ has revealed so much to me & about me.
While in Jamaica, I was also forced to face the consequences of my sinful ways. It was then that I decided to repent and I turned to my heavenly Father, asking Him to change the desires of my heart and make it ever true. Upon returning home to St. Lucia I couldn’t help but think of how blessed I was at the way things worked out. Evidently, God’s hand was present working behind the scenes long before I even knew that I would be going to Jamaica. It was obvious – from finding accommodation to the people I met and the places I visited – I knew that He was working things out for my good.
Was it the first time He had gone before me and prepared a way? Absolutely not! In fact, my entire University life has been a testimony of Him laying a foundation, however, things just felt different this year 2018.
While home I had the best time with my family. I just felt closer to them compared to other times when I would visit. I also established a very good friendship with an old classmate who also inspired change and influenced purpose. I will never forget his message to me:
Treat people how God would like you to treat them and not how they treat you.
Indeed, this was a powerful revelation, but an even harder practice.
At the time, I didn’t fully understand why I had to be nice to those selfish people who would test my patience! My philosophy back then was: treat others exactly how they treat me, just what society taught me.
Nevertheless, I sought wisdom and God answered (Proverbs 2:1-6) through a message I heard at church one Saturday. His message was:
“As Christians, Christ should abide in us and so the way we treat people should reflect Him and His love. He created us and gave us freedom of choice but it was never about us. He created us to love Him and to serve Him… by serving others.”
I remembered hearing this message before, but this time my ears were opened and it was clear. We serve God by serving others (Matthew 25:35- 40) and by serving others we give them the opportunity to encounter God’s love through us. We also plant a seed for them to develop a relationship with God and to discover their purpose on this earth. (Kind of a domino effect. Just
imagine how the world would be if everyone had this encounter and played their part!).
In my case, the sequence of events that summer had allowed meto understand the true love of God and to grow with him. It was by understanding His love and knowing Him that a real change came and my purpose was revealed.
Are you struggling to live a life pleasing to God? Do you read His Word but find it difficult to apply?
My advice to you:
Pray, asking Him to change your heart.
Ask Him to reveal His love to you and your purpose on this earth.
Persevere in getting to know Him & one day everything will fall in place…all the messages & lessons learned will make sense to you. And you will take pleasure in reading His word & getting to know Him.
Want to reach out to Urdine?