Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Now that we are born again, we may think the Lord’s purpose today is only to take care of us. Suppose we are short of money, so we pray to the Lord. Then our boss gives us a raise. Then we pray, “Thank you, Lord, for helping me with my finances.” Suppose we are trying to catch a bus, but we’re late. Then we pray, “Lord, please hold the bus for me.” We find out the bus is there waiting for us. Then we tell the Lord, “Thank You for holding the bus for my sake.” If we accidentally leave our wallet somewhere, and we go back to look for it, we will pray, “Please, Lord, don’t let anyone else pick it up.” If we find our wallet exactly where we left it, we will pray, “Lord, thank You. You kept my wallet from being stolen.” All of these experiences are simple and understandable. Yet it seems that so often we look for these kinds of experiences, and we are not looking for the Lord Himself. The Lord does answer prayers like this, but that should not be the extent of our born again experience.
If we think that the Lord’s only purpose is to meet our own personal needs before we go to heaven, we are treating the Lord Jesus unfairly. The Lord becomes nothing but a gift-giver, waiting around for us to pray and tell Him what it is we need. We assume the Lord will give us everything we ask for, except His very person.
The Lord has no intention that we would live the way we choose. His purpose is not that we would go to heaven. His existence is not just to meet our practical needs. The most important need we have is for Christ Himself, and the Lord’s desire is to give Himself to us. We were born again so that we would gain the subjective experiences of Christ.
Adapted fromÃ‚Â Born Again, pages 9-10.
Tomorrow: “Knowing Christ as Our Strength”