Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?Isaiah 53:1
It’s impossible to explain what happens to a person when they are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. For some of us there is an instant change in many areas of our lives; while for others these changes take place at a steady progression in the process known as sanctification.
Regardless of how fast or slow this beautiful life-giving change takes place one thing is certain to occur amongst us all and that thing will prove to be one of the most trying (and possibly even painful) experiences we will ever know.
People do not like change! And the people that have been a part of our lives up until our rebirth will NOT understand what has and is happening to us! The apostle Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians 2:14, … the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This is why almost everyone around us will begin looking at us through skeptical eyes as they await our return to our former selves- the one they know and “love”. Some of them will entice us to go back to our former ways while others will work to cast doubt in our minds and hearts as to the very truth of God’s Word and still others will chide us to not take things so seriously.
We must remember that this pressuring barrage of temptation is no new tactic of the powers and principalities that press against us but has been put into practice by the forces of darkness since the beginning of creation. Even Christ Jesus Himself, who is the ONLY Begotten Son of God, had to undergo the very cunning temptations of the devil for 40 straight days immediately following His receiving of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1-11).
How Jesus withstood this temptation is the exact same way we can- in fact, is the only way we can- and that is through the power of the Word of God!
Once we put our faith in Jesus it then becomes our duty to pick up our sword, the weapon of our warfare, and learn how to use it through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Only the Word of God, the Holy Bible, can give us the needed ammunition, the armor, the comfort, and the protection we need to endure and grow in faith.
If we neglect to set our hearts and minds on His Word we will, without doubt, fall before we ever really learn to stand. And we will keep falling for the rest of our lives- missing opportunity after opportunity to walk in the perfect will of God that He put us here on earth to accomplish before the foundations of the world came into being (Ephesians 1:4-6).
Those people who are doubting us now- those who are tempting and chiding us- could be the very ones God has sent us to share the Gospel with, be it through our words, our example, or our testimonies. Remember, they are not our enemies. It is the powers and principalities, the spiritual wickedness in high places that we battle against, not flesh and blood! It is their spirit that needs reborn, just like it was ours!