I’ve got some remaining credit on this office store reward card. Whatever I choose will be free…as long as it’s less than $5.16. I like plenty of trinkets such as the mini-clipboard that I would probably never use. An ink pen over in aisle two is cool, but I’m a writer. I’m already swimming in gel pens and tiny notebooks. Still, I have a few minutes left in the store, and feel the need to choose something, anything. That’s a snapshot of the way humans make a lot of choices—while pressured, shortsighted, emotion-based, and illogical.
You have to appreciate the way God chooses. The Bible shows Him doing it with great feeling and purpose. So when His call finally rolls around, and He turns your world upside down (like He did mine), you can bet there’s tremendous intentionality behind it.
Case in point: the Holy Spirit caused me to notice my mildewed life. I saw the bad news of it so I could perceive and appreciate the good news in Christ. You never quite value the silhouette of an approaching paradise until you’ve passed by the city landfill first. That’s exactly how it happened for me. Under the Spirit’s illumination, my decent, nice guy existence began to smell of rotten bananas and spoiled milk. It always had stunk. I had just never noticed. By the time the good news of Jesus arrived on the scene, I had grown ready for it at levels even I was hardly aware of. My old life had begun to smell even worse—like two thousand ripe disposable diapers. Was there any doubt I would gravitate to a message that smelled of cedar and lilac?
Yes, that goes for you, too. The Spirit has executed a complex inward work upon the cogs and gears of your heart. Some external heavy lifting has occurred, too—of furniture moved around the periphery of your life. This serious choreography set you apart, sanctified you (1 Pet. 1:2). Why? Peter says the Spirit has prepped us, sanctified us for obedience to Jesus Christ. We’ve been positioned to eventually obey the call of the gospel to repent and believe in Jesus.
In your life, there won’t be an act of obedience toward God more important than this one. The Bible says this submission leads to being sprinkled with the blood of Christ. Sprinkled—that’s a strange way to put it, but appropriate when considering that for thousands of years during the Old Testament, the blood of sacrifices had been sprinkled upon God’s people. The Jews had been a bunch of rag-tag sinners, an obnoxious unholy mob good for nothing but to be nuked. Yet every time the sacrificial blood sprinkled them, in the eyes of God the same group appeared a precious chosen nation, His delight, His priesthood.
That was the blood of bulls and goats—all symbolic, ceremonial, and temporary. But no more. Now we’re dealing with the blood of the very Son of God, the über sacrifice, the One who sums up all sacrifices and gives them meaning. Instead of ceremonial, it looms large as something immediate, powerful, and eternal. Drops of that blood fell on me. They landed in the heart of an unremarkable, unknown, lonely, skinny kid from Louisiana.
And yes, you could say something happened.