Heart of Flesh: Changes

butterfly chrysalis

Waiting for the change.

This week, guest blogger Martin Rogers discusses the changes that come of accepting Christ as our Savior:

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Ezekiel 36:25-27 KJV

In these verses, Ezekiel describes the changes that come when we are cleansed through Christ—changes that take place as we grow in our walk with God, as we follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What kinds of things happen? How do those changes come about? How can we tell if we’ve been changed? And can we make the changes happen?

I’d like to share some of the changes I’ve experienced through my relationship with Christ—not as someone to be followed—but with the idea that my experience is what I share best, as Peter admonished Christians to do:

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
1 Peter 3:15 KJV

To help me share with gentleness and reverence, God gave me another verse to remind me of my place and to be humble. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Luke 17:10 KJV

Other than being a child of God, the thing I most am—not what I do but what I am—is an engineer. I’m very much a geek—technical gear and logic in finding solutions are big in my life.

In many ways, I’m driven by a sense of duty. An engineer is supposed to do the right thing even if it’s not expedient for cost or schedule—there is a professional responsibility to our society that goes with the job.

I’ve also been a military officer, with over 11 years in the Air Force. Counting my high school and college ROTC experience, I have almost 20 years practicing a soldier’s approach to life. I currently support our nation’s army aviation as a civilian engineer involved in structural airworthiness issues. Most of my adult life has focused on supporting the military functions of my country.

I’ve wondered if being a Christian is compatible with supporting the military. Is my profession supposed to change as I grow in knowledge of God? I see in the gospels, for example, when the centurion with the dying servant approached Jesus, Jesus didn’t tell the centurion to get out of the soldier business. And in Acts, Peter didn’t tell the centurion Cornelius to change his profession.

Of Paul himself, in Acts 18:3 it says: “And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.” Even as he served the early church as an apostle, he worked as a tentmaker.

God works with us where we are, but I need to always be open to His leading me to make changes.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 KJV

Adapted from a sermon written and presented by Martin Rogers, November 2004. Inspired by The Change by Steven Curtis Chapman.