When we come to God, we have a renewal. A renewal of life because we are made new again.
I just watched a video of Anne Rice for I am Second. Oh my goodness, I was so moved. Anne Rice and her vampire chronicles made such an impact on my adolescent, young adult life. I was pagan during high school and college. I read every novel she wrote and admired her writing so deeply. Vampires were very much an attraction to me. Watching her video about her return to faith in Jesus was amazing.
I put those novels away when I came to Christ and was saddened by the fact that such a wonderful writer could write about such things. Yet, there was always something in them that spoke of God. Not that they honored him, mind you, but some sort of sadness that seemed overwhelming. In the video she spoke of how she reflected on her novels and how she really can see that there was a longing for God written out on the pages, not explicitly but subtly.
I can relate. I grew up in a household that went to church on Sundays, but did not understand the fullness of God's glory. I turned away from God in order to "fulfill myself" at a young age, instead of embracing the true fulfillment of Christ. All through my wanderings, everything I tried to do subconsciously reached out for God. I tried to "harness" power through witchcraft that was not mine to hold. I longed for status and prominence. I wanted to walk in authority, but had none.
I wanted all the things God promises, but through my own way and understanding.
Looking back, I can see how all these efforts to "fulfill" myself where such a sad attempt and a crying out to God. I struggled, and still do on occasion, with knowing God loves me despite my past. And that, yes, purity is for EVERYONE. Not just for the one who never strayed, but for the prodigal as well. Renewal is for us all.
A few weeks ago, a friend spoke to me about how God knew we would say yes to Him from the beginning of time. When He authored our lives, He knew on what page we would give our hearts to Him. Such a beautiful and suspenseful novel He has written for each of us. The weary come to Him, after fighting long and hard, and surrender all for His name and glory.
I was reading in Mark this past Thursday about Jesus calling his Disciples. How he could call to two on a boat to come and they did. His best of best friends. Those closest to Him. And He knew that they would say yes from the beginning of time. That when He called out to those that would serve with Him in earthly ministry, that they would say yes. I shiver with excitement to think that He saw His best friends (even though they didn't know it yet), He knew exactly when to call them, and that they would with out a doubt say yes. What do you think He felt like when He saw them? 'Hey that's one of my dearest friends, they don't know me yet, but today is the day they will say yes to me!'
My heart bursts with joy when I think of this. Because do you think He might think about us that way? He surely does. He loves us that much! The day I said yes to Him, He was bursting with excitement because He knew that day was the day. I know He thought that about Ms. Anne Rice as well. He thinks that about you too. You just have to say yes. He already knows it's in your heart.