#17 How People Change: The Holy Spirit  
      —this is part of a dawdling series this year on the top 30 lessons I have learnt in the last 30 years.. 

All people have this problem. We have these ideals of who we want to be. We are often not. Not anywhere near the ideal. Not who we want to be. We actually sometimes do the exact opposite of what we aspire to be like. At best this leaves us feeling insecure, like we’ve failed, or we have not met our goals. At worst? We know we are really bad. We carry deep shame, ruined relationships, brokenness, guilt, addictions, a knowledge that “if there is a God.. I am in deep and know, if judgement is real, I’m in trouble..” and a feeling of being..

I have the best news in the world for you. 

There is a solution to that trap you we are in. It isn’t a creed, a mantra, a work ethnic, a self help book, or penance, he is a Person actually. In fact, He is God, the 3rd person of the Trinity to be more specific. 

The Holy Spirit is how people change. Understanding the Holy Spirit and who He is and how he works is crucial to how I’ve come to understand not the normal kinds of change we can do ourselves, but the really hard kinds of change where we know we need outside help. Divine interference even. This feeling of being stuck, this knowledge of being in deep isn’t new. 

A long loonnng time ago there was a dude named Ezekiel who was a man who knew God personally and God spoke to him and asked him to speak to the Jewish people and he wrote down some things that God prompted him to write and it ended up being a section of scripture in the Jewish scriptures and the Christian Bible called Ezekiel.. towards end of the Old Testament if you’re looking.

I promise this is very relevant to you. 

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
(Ezekiel 36:25-27 ESV)

A long time before you or I lived were people living who had hearts that were stone. They weren’t teachable. They were stuck. They didn’t listen to what God wanted. They lived their own ways and it brought them shame and captivity. Back then they used the word “unclean.” They didn’t do what they knew to be right. They didn’t want to. Much like you and I in our deepest shame know the things that we can’t change, that don’t change, leave us feeling less than clean. God’s promise to this people thousands of years ago was that he was going to someday:

1. Make them clean
2. Give them a new heart and spirit
3. Remove their hard stone hearts
4. Give them soft hearts (teachable changeable hearts maybe?!)
5. God would put his Spirit within them…
                              Wait whaaa?? 

This is the promise I want you to stop and stumble over. God’s way of helping us be unstuck was to enable his Spirit to live in the hearts of sinful, unclean men and women that he had made clean. (more about that later).

The most important thing I want you to take from this post today, this has been monumental to my life is this:

That object in your mind you feel most stuck over, can only change through the help of God’s Holy Spirit. Some people think people cannot change. I’d say I agree with this. But I have seen people change. Not on their own efforts though. You cannot do it alone. Lasting change to our soul, those things we want to change and can’t about our life, our character, come through the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

I will do another couple posts to flush this out… How can you experience this change? How can you be made clean? What happens when you claim to know God and are still stuck…?? To be continued… 

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