As a New / Baby Christian
Early on, in my walk with the Lord, this was a frequent cry of my heart. When I looked at myself, and I don’t mean in the mirror, but deep within, I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t see what was good in me, only that I was lacking. I wasn’t perfect and good like all the other Christians around me. I fell short on every score if there was a score to keep. I did not have a pure heart.
So Much Was Wrong with Me
I didn’t read my Bible every day, not even once a week. I couldn’t quote scripture, and still can’t. I often chose ways of the world, rather than ways of the Lord. Sure, I didn’t smoke or drink to excess. But I loved to read, so I read romance novels and lived in those worlds. I studied all the time, but not the Bible and the list goes on.
I wish I knew then what I know now. (Is that a song?) God doesn’t snap his fingers and make you a whole new person with a pure heart and a steadfast spirit. He could, but generally, he doesn’t. Such a change, or transformation, takes time and requires your involvement. I don’t know about you, but I learn best by experience and through failure.
Paul’s Experience of a Pure Heart
Paul, the man who wrote much of the New Testament, had a very personal and life-changing experience with Christ, at his conversion (Acts 9). You may recall that Paul, then known as Saul, was a strong persecutor of the church and believers. (Acts 8:1-3) His conversion was certainly more in-your-face kind of experience, but it was what he needed. Now, was he immediately a changed man? Did he instantly preach and write all these amazing books?
No! It took time. In fact, immediately after his Damascus road experience, he retreated for a period of time, maybe three years. A time he spent in the desert, learning and being transformed. It was not instant… it took time.
It Takes Time
So, if it took Paul time, take heart, it will take you time. I have been under construction for fifty years now and still am not complete. God is doing his work in me, and I thank him for that. I have gone through periods of ‘construction pause’. A time of rest and refreshing. Transformation is hard work, and as in most things, change takes time to become the norm. So, God, in his mercy, gives us periods of rest and normalization.
If you are someone who frets about their ‘walk’ or ‘lack of spiritual character’ or anything else, turn it over to the Lord. Trust Him to do His good work in you – He will create a clean heart with you. Give Him time and, most importantly, give yourself time. Mind you, this is not a passive time. You have responsibilities too. Pray… even if just for the few moments you are awake before falling into an exhausted sleep. Read a passage of scripture every day. To make it easy, there are wonderful apps out there that will provide a new passage of scripture every day. I am sure you can find the minute it will take to open the app and read. Don’t hesitate. Start NOW.
(Note, I get nothing for this recommendation. It is an app I have used for many years and really like it. You are free to choose any other, as long as you use it daily. I like how this app tracks your usage, sends you reminders, etc. It will also provide teaching if you so wish.)