[Jesus] was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah. 1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) What does this have to do with...
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow… Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:7, 10
Change what you do and you will change what you love. Change what you love and you will change what you do. But how do you break the pattern? Where do you start? There has to be a change in both places—in what you love and in what you do.
This is what Jesus was talking about when he said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” You need a new birth that cleanses and renews, a changing of your heart and a washing of your life. Nicodemus was right to ask “How? How am I supposed to change my own heart and cleanse my own life?”
Jesus answered that question: “Nicodemus, I’m going to be lifted up. I’m going to lay down my life, and if you will put your trust in me, I will do for you what you cannot do for yourself” (John 3:14). Jesus Christ can re-incline your heart and move it in a new direction. He can give you a new love that is strong enough to squeeze out the wrong loves in your life. He can wash your life and deal with all of your sin. He can reorient your heart and change what you love the most.
You can ask him to do this for you. You can use the prayer in Psalm 51. David is saying, “I have done the wrong things, because I have loved the wrong things! Deliver me from this heart! Give me a new heart that loves you and loves others. Cleanse my life and change my heart!”
Do you recognize what you need from Jesus? As you do, the power of unbelief will loosen its grip on your soul.