My friend Red Smith, serving a 25 year sentence, sent me a letter one day, and it began with this line, “I thank God every day that he delivered me from myself.” That’s all I remember, but it’s enough. That leads me down several paths, but the one for today is what is really going on in God’s plan to deliver us from ourselves and all the other evil that is lurking out there.
The truth is this: that God sent his Son to save us: and the way He chose to save us is by changing us from the inside out. He saves by delivering us from the evil that is in our heart. The war between the flesh and the Spirit, between Satan and God, between God’s will and my will, is one that is going on in my heart. When God sends His Spirit to move in our lives, He doesn’t change our circumstances to affect our world, He changes our hearts so we see things differently. When we are changed inside, that changes what happens to us on the outside. Oh, God uses all kinds of things in the world to get my our attention, but his main purpose is to have us surrender our hearts to Him so that we can begin to see His eternal design for our lives. A good example is the Prodigal Son, it says, “When he came to himself, he said, ‘I will return to my father.’ ” It was because his heart was changed.