He Wrote His Words On My Heart
My name is Edith, and I am so happy, honored, humbled and grateful to share my life with you. I’ve been a Christian thirty years. I was baptized into Christ in November 1989. The journey began with being emotionally moved by the Crucifixion Story of Christ. I was deeply convicted by His Life, and the powerful meaning of His Death and Resurrection. I remember when I personalized what Jesus Christ did for me and who He is, I responded very similar to the people in Acts 2:36-37. I cried out: “What should I do?” And ever since that day, I call Him Savior, I call Him Lord, and never looked back.
However, although I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, it was difficult to live the life of a “true” Christian…well, the way the Bible tells us we are given the ability to live out our lives in Christ. It was difficult to submit to Jesus, or maybe I didn’t want to, or just didn’t understand how to. Looking in hindsight I thought I had submitted to Jesus, but in reality I did not. It was only after I submitted, it was then I knew that all those years I did not really submit to my Lord. So, even as a Christian for many years I felt powerless over sins, as a slave would be – without authority, without freedom. I did not understand enough, and did not believe deeply the power Jesus gave me to overcome sins. My life went through many phases of ups and downs, as I continued in sin. But what kept me persevering was not only my love for God, but understanding that the Bible is indeed the Word of God. I figured if I could just believe in what the Bible says and accept it as Truth, then the Truth would set me Free. It wasn’t until I took God’s Love Letter – The Bible to heart, and saw it as the “very” Word of God speaking to me, it was then I began to experience miraculous change and growth in my relationship with God. I was able to learn deep reverence for Our Heavenly Father, believing that what He says, and what He promises is Truth. God gave me the ability to see my sins clearer, and taught me how to hate them and love righteousness. He taught me this as soon as I began I understand with a pure and earnest heart that I am His Child, and I desire to be like my Father. This conviction aligned me to The Word of God to agree with God and obey God. I thought, if The Bible is Truth, and I believe it literally as Truth, then I will become what God faithfully entrusted me to become – a definition of His Child. And who is the example of God’s Child, but Jesus Christ! So I accepted God’s Word, as if God was speaking to me directly from His Mouth, and into my heart – and what He said was True…
But this growth did not happen the moment I said “Jesus is my Lord“.
It took many years of learning how to understand with my heart, and not just my mind. Looking in retrospect, when I understood with my mind, my life did not bear solid fruits of repentance. Paul in his letter to the Church in Rome explains this powerless life very well. Just as Paul expressed, I began to see that I was living a life mandated by the Law instead of the Spirit of God. When we live our lives by human effort, Paul was saying in Romans 7:14-25 we live as though we are still under the principle of “doing and performing” righteousness. He said “When I want to do good, evil is there with me”. Paul was explaining that when he tries to live by the Law, he is powerless. It’s as if living by the Law we are practitioners of the Law, working for righteousness, instead of accepting the Law in our hearts through the channel of Faith in God, that God Himself will do the work to complete the Law in us.
Thus, without realizing, we are operating with a partial understanding of the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of Grace – that the Gospel is the all-inclusive power and authority of Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection for us and in us. We tend to stop at the meaning of Grace as our Salvation (spiritually) – that we are no longer condemned if we accept God. We stop at believing that because we are not condemned, that God doesn’t really expects us to live the way He said we should live in the Bible. We don’t say this out loud, but this is what we believe…we believe we are powerless. I lived with that belief system for years, but noticed that when I read the Bible I saw that Jesus told us we can change, that we will change, and change is what God expects of us. But this change will happen if we believe. And that convicted me. The fact is, Jesus also died that we may have Faith that produces Righteous Obedience. And if we believe in what He has done, He is able to transform our hearts by giving us Hearts of Obedience (literally). When we accept the Gospel of Grace – we affirm this by faith knowing that when God looks at us, we are blameless when we confess and repent of our sins. And we also accept the Gospel of Grace by conforming to a life led and controlled by the Spirit of Jesus Christ – a life of power and freedom that God has freely given us. As I learned this, and accepted this as True, I learned how to transmit my understanding from mind to heart by faith, and it was then I saw God working powerfully in my life. I learned that even my faith – the understanding of righteousness – was given by God.
Many have misinterpreted chapter 7, Romans 7:14-25, they say Paul felt powerless over sin and was illustrating this in his letter to the disciples in Rome. However, Paul was really talking about when he tried to live by the Law (a performance-based mentality) he noticed a self-defeating conflict. He noticed that the sinful nature exercises a powerful law of resistance to righteousness, and a fight against any effort of righteous behavior. This happens because we are trying to live by human performance and effort. Obviously, this fight ends with us feeling powerless, because we keep deliberately and powerlessly commit the same sins – sins we do not desire to do – it’s as if sin has control over us. He was saying, we cannot become righteous on our own effort or merit; and we cannot win the battle over the sinful nature, without the force and power of the Holy Spirit.
If you read the content of Paul’s letter to the disciples in Rome (The Book of Romans), you’ll see that Paul was also saying, when we live by the Spirit of God, we believe and live by the power of the Holy Spirit, and in this faith-filled life we can overcome sin. This was also why Paul continued in the subsequent chapter, … chapter 8, to explain life led by the Spirit of God. He wanted the Church to believe that Righteousness can only be attained from walking in step with the Spirit of God. And this was also why Paul wrote in chapter 3:10 – “none is righteous, no, not one“, because we are incapable of righteousness if we do not submit to God’s Spirit. Thanks be the God, that by submitting to the Spirt of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have the ability to no longer live by a mental humanistic observance of the Law (God’s Law/God’s Word). We are rescued from works-oriented pursuit of personal righteousness, and empowered to believe and accept the power of Jesus’ Spirit in us, where God does the work to complete (Jesus/God’s Word) in our lives abundantly. Amen!
Consequently, this is our work now… to Believe…
As it is written and spoken by Our Lord himself, in John 6:29 ~ Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”
Before I understood all this, I recall that in November 2008, I saw clearly that the Bible spoke a lot about a kind of Faith that produces righteous living. A Faith that God mobilizes to give us the ability to live righteous lives, by the power of God, and only by the power of God! By January 2009, I began to study out this kind of pure Faith. I was hungry to know what this kind of Faith will do; and I began to believe that this kind of Faith will produce what Jesus taught. However, it was not until November 2019, approximately ten years, the Faith I developed changed from my mental understanding of Faith to “sincere” Biblical Faith, and my life began to transform. The Spirit of Righteousness came showering down swiftly, powerfully and permanently; and I was shocked to see how God transformed me – I have no other word to describe this experience, but to say it was a “Miracle”! Looking back, I realize that all that time from January 2009 to November 2019 that God was building my Faith and Character through series of spiritual battles, pain and hardship, to finally – through His Mercy and Grace – fulfill in my life the New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 31:33-34 and re-iterated by the Hebrews writer in Hebrews 8:10-13.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
I liken my growth in Christ to the growth of the Chinese bamboo tree. It requires nurturing: water, fertile soil and sunshine. In the first year of the life of the Chinese bamboo tree, we see no visible sign of growth. And the second, third and fourth year, still no visible sign of growth. And finally in the fifth year – behold, the Chinese bamboo shows miraculous growth! The growth is seen above the soil. And oh, what growth it is! After almost five years in the soil, the seed of the Chinese bamboo tree finally grows above the soil, approximately three feet daily, almost ninety feet in about a month! I feel like that Chinese bamboo tree, and I smile sometimes thinking about the mysteries of God. All along, God was working in my life, but I only grew when I submit my life to Him, as the Chinese bamboo tree submits to the time, patience, perseverance and full reign of the gardener. During the worse times of my life, and during the times I sinned the most God had a vision that one day His watering, nurturing, loving and forgiving me was actually transforming me within.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God
So, I decided to tell my story because it brings glory to God!
I not only want to share my story, but share the Gospel of God’s Grace to help others who accept and “sincerely” believe the Story of Jesus as Truth. I use the word “sincerely” as emphasis, that it is not until there is Faith…sincere Faith – not the Faith we think or claim is Faith. I’m talking about a Faith that transforms our lives, as proof that God’s Word and the Story of Jesus is Truth! When we experience what God says is True, we are witnesses of His Truth.
We cannot forget some of Jesus’ Words that teaches the victory we have in Him – when we Believe His Words:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”. He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself: it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit: apart from me you can do nothing.”
“You will recognize them by their fruit.”
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
So Jesus said to those who believed in him, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Doxology: No one can bring glory to God effectively, until he or she is connected with Jesus Christ by Faith. Jesus is our ONLY connection with God, our ONLY connection to Life, and our ONLY connection to Light. And, it is ONLY when we are connected (surrendered/submitted) or remain in Him, God can produce in us the Fruitful life of Righteousness, shown in the New Covenant. In Jesus, ALL that we have and ALL that we become – it is for God’s Glory!