For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Haiti to work with one of our missionaries there. It was amazing to see the dedication of the Haitian Christians, but, stepping aside from the spiritual aspect of it, something happened that most of us in the group were not prepared for. Haiti is much closer to the equator, and therefore, much closer to the sun than it is where we live. Many of us were sunburned by the end of our first full day. Being so close to the sun bared our skin to a completely new level of exposure.
The closer we get to God, the more we are going to be exposed to things that we have never been exposed to before. God will reveal things to us in our lives that are wrong and that we need to change. We cannot help but be changed by being that close to Christ. Just as the sun changes the skin of those who are exposed to it, being close to the Son of God (Jesus Christ) changes the hearts of those who are exposed to His absolute holiness.
As you are aware, when you spend time in the sun, your skin does not get burned or turn red the moment you step out the door into the sunshine. It happens gradually over the course of a few hours. And most of the time you do not even realize that it is happening, or that it has happened, until you come indoors at the end of the day. That is characteristic of our relationship with Jesus Christ, as well. When we walk close to the Lord, we often do not even realize that we are being changed, that our minds and hearts are different. But as we look back on our life, we can see the gradual changes that have taken place until we take on the complexion and carry the effects of that relationship with Christ.
It ought to be our goal to get so close to Christ that we cannot help but bear the image and carry the marks of one who wants to be like Christ in holiness, righteousness, and godliness.
Read also: Romans 8:5-11
Quote of the day: "God tends to use those who are closest to Him.”