“New Days” Meditations 7: A New Life?
Jn 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
We move on to consider more widely the thoughts about newness. So far we have limited it to the thought of the Lord saying to us TODAY, “I am doing a new thing.” Now, as we’ll see as we go on, God is seeking to do new things all the time but for a moment we’ll focus for a bit on the new life He seeks to bring us and our perception of that new life.
New lives are at the heart of God’s thinking and have been so ever since the Fall. From that point on the Lord has been working in mankind to draw us back to Himself. Having free will, we all have this disposition that leans towards being self-centred and godless which results in us living unrighteously, i.e. in ways contrary to God’s design for us.
Thus from Cain and Abel onwards, seen in Enoch (Gen 5:24) and then worked out in and through Abram onwards, building relationships with individuals has always remained on God’s heart. Why? So that He can bring us back into the life He originally designed for us. This is where His rule can be expressed in and through us (Gen 1:27,28), His ‘kingdom’ or rule or design or will, however you might express it.
However, there is a problem! While we continue to live on the basis of self-centred godlessness, we can never know and experience the wonder of that life under His rule, expressing His rule through us, and so that way of life has to be abandoned for a new way, a better way.
And this is where we come to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John, chapter 3. Jesus uses the concept of NEW birth to speak of the way into the kingdom, into the life and rule of God. How familiar with spiritual things we become, perhaps, after those initial days of life-transformation, when we were ‘born again’, made new, converted, as the Bible describes it, and that familiarity robs us of the ongoing wonder of newness of life.
I once watched a two-year old nephew tottering along on a hillside until he spotted a lone daisy. Obviously seeing this small flower, we take for granted. But he stopped entranced as he bent and peered at this flower. Beauty. New. People facing death, they say, start seeing from a new perspective. Do we have to wait for such a crisis? He has “rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (Col 1:13 personalized) Does the passing of time mean we lose the wonder of this experience so be become blasé about it? Dare I pray, “Dear Lord, help me see with new eyes that I may see all things new – and wonder and marvel and praise and worship.”