God Offers us a New Beginning

Photo by Lucas Ludwig on Unsplash

Being a follower of Christ is a big challenge or at least it should be. We are coming into a time when people who think of themselves as Christians are going to have to put up or shut up, to use a common expression. By that I mean that the days of playing games with Christ and His people are over unless you are one of those who thinks it is a game. The way forward depends on the willingness in our hearts to abandon our self-seeking ways and let Christ have His way in our lives.

The real beginning for a genuine follower of Christ is to come to the end of one’s own selfish ambitions and abandon one’s self to the Lord. There are many examples of this abandonment in God’s word. David could not give himself to God fully until he came to his Psalm 51 experience. He had to come to grips with his failures and give up his own natural strength and begin to lean fully on the everlasting arms of Yahweh.

First he had to realize where he got off track, repent and turn back to the Lord. He put it this way: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Ps. 51:4). He came to realize that he was wrong, God was right and it was time to line up with God’s way forward.

He realized he needed a new, clean renewed heart in order to follow God. He cried out “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). Of course he knew that would take a miraculous touch by the hand of God. He was not capable of changing his heart. God would have to create in him a renewed heart. Then he could go forward in the strength of the Lord.

He also inherently knew that God was not interested in religious fakery but wanted to see in him a broken spirit, a contrite heart, that is ready to move from religious action to genuine worship issuing from a pure heart. He cried out to Yahweh: “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps. 51:16 17). God was not interested in his empty sacrifices and burnt offerings but wanted his broken heart so he could heal it, set him free and call him into the fullness of the calling on his life.

The apostle Paul had a similar experience which he wrote about in Romans 7. He had experienced much frustration in his early Christian walk seeking to truly follow God. He finally came to the end of his rope, the end of reliance on his natural strength. He expressed his realization in this amazing concession: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Rom. 7:18). “Nothing good dwells in me.” That’s where we have to come to in order to be useful in the hands of our master. As long as we think we have the natural ability to accomplish His will, we will fail.

Paul came to that place we all must come to before we are truly useable in the hands of the Master. In the midst of his frustration he cried out in anguish: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom. 7:24, 25). He made the wonderful discovery that the way forward is “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” As the next chapter opens we hear him exclaiming, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1, 2).

Paul found that freedom from trying to keep the law in our own strength must give way to taking our place in “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Later to the Philippians he said it this way: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). He now was able to do all things the Lord called him to do but only in the strength of His Lord.

And that’s where we find ourselves today my friends. We have experienced the Covid19 debacle, a myriad of defections from the faith, the closing of churches, the cutting off of fellowship, a rising persecution of followers of Christ and a sweeping spiritual malaise falling upon many believers. It is time to realize that business as usual must come to an end. The Lord is coming to His people in a different way.

He is calling us to abandon our natural strength and religious commotion and come broken and humble to the Lord our healer who will heal us, renew our hearts and bring us into the freedom of true redemption in His forgiveness and spiritual power. We must come to our Psalm 51, our Romans 7 giving up on thinking that God needs our gifts and offerings. There we will realize that He is the giver of gifts and He provided the only offering that matters — His life.

I hear much talk recently of hope for Christ’s second coming. I hope for that as well but my greatest hope is for Him to come fully into my heart and the hearts of my fellow followers of Christ. Somehow I sense that His coming in the sky awaits His coming in our hearts. Let’s present ourselves to Him and let Him do what He does best and that will result in wonders beyond our imagination. God be with you all.



I write to answer the worldwide move to diminish the influence of God. I write from outside the camp of organized religion to call people to come follow Christ.

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Lloyd Gardner

I write to answer the worldwide move to diminish the influence of God. I write from outside the camp of organized religion to call people to come follow Christ.