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How spiritual life begins

By Greg Odell

You cannot align your heart with God's law, so God says, "I'll do what you cannot do. I'll write my law on your heart." The technical word for this is regeneration. When God does this, you have a new hunger and a new thirst for the Word of God. You feel drawn to Christ and responsive to God.

The best illustration I know of this is the way human life begins. The living seed is planted, and in a secret, mysterious and wonderful way, new life is conceived. Hidden within the woman's body, there's a new life. She may not even be aware of it. Weeks pass, and she begins to feel something has changed: "Could I be pregnant?"

That's a wonderful picture of how spiritual life begins. It's a direct work of God's spirit to implant the seed of life in you. This has either happened or it has not; there's no in-between. It may have happened and you don't even know it yet. But like every pregnancy, it will eventually show. Repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the first visible evidences, but it all begins with God.

This change is something only God can bring. That's why David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart." (Psalm 51:10) He realized the only way to change would be for God to change him. That's what God promises to do in the new covenant.

You can look back now and see how God has done this in your life. There was a time when you came to church, and it didn't mean much, but then things began to change. You had a new hunger for God and a desire to be clean. You didn't know it then, but the life of God was implanted to you by the Holy Spirit.

Has this happened to you? Is there at the core of your being, a deep hunger and thirst after God? That desire is something God has placed within you. He is fulfilling his promise and changing your heart.