Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Cure

     William Munny was asked to go and commit vigilante justice on a no good, vicious scoundrel.  He refused, stating that, "My wife, God-rest-her-soul, cured me of drink and wickedness."  This was a quotation that Clint Eastwood's character in the 1992 western, "Unforgiven", repeated many times throughout the film.  Now, eventually Mr. Munny did go and take care of the scoundrel, and a few others that needed some 'old time western lawfulness', but he knew that inside he was a changed man.  The old Bill Munny was "dead and gone", he was now a different person.
     Steve and I have watched that movie on AMC about 150 times, it seems.  He loves that quote.  Steve said that Munny reminded him of himself.  In fact, we are watching the History Channel and Steve just said, out of the blue, "I love you.  You have cured me of my evil ways!"  :) 
     Now, Steve does know that it REALLY wasn't me that 'cured him', it was God.  He is the Great Physician, the Healer.  God is the one that does the changes in all of us who are believers.  All we have to do is repent, and give our lives over to Him.  He is the One that does the work, not us. 
     I have heard people say that they didn't want to become a Christian, because they didn't want to be a hypocrite.  They had seen other members of a church sin, and they didn't want to do that.  News flash:  You don't stop sinning once you become a Christian.  You do become a new creation.  Once we ask the Lord in our lives, the Holy Spirit comes and resides in our being.  That Spirit is the One that  changes us.  He will make the transformation that we need.  We just have to be willing participants. 
     A willing participant...what is that? It is someone who wants to be reformed.  We have to voluntarily give up our control of our life.  To move from the driver's seat into the passenger seat, and let Jesus take control of our 'vehicle'.  Let Him guide us where He wants us to go.  But is the transformation that simple?  Yes, and no.  Yes, it is basically simple, but we do have to take some action in our growth process.
     In a way, it is like having a visitor in our home.  We eagerly ask the person in, and make sure they feel comfortable and then...what?  Do we continue to acknowledge their presence, or do we forget about them, and only speak to them when we feel like it?  Hopefully, we recognize their company, and do all we can to make them feel welcome.  We speak to them and listen to them.  Over time, we develop and foster a relationship with them...a close relationship.  If we didn't speak to them on a daily basis, our relationship would suffer.  The same is true with our relationship with God.
     If we don't acknowledge God in our lives, don't read His Word or have fellowship with other believers, our relationship will suffer.  If we don't talk with Him (pray) every day, we will grow cold and distant from Him.  If we want to grow close to the Lord, we must work at our connection with Him, as we would any other friendship.  Through this bond, He slowly begins to change change our heart to reflect His Heart.  He changes our mind to mirror His Mind...our actions to coincide with His.
We can't change ourselves.  It is a supernatural thing that only God, through His Holy Spirit can do. 
     Sometimes we may be like the character of William Munny.  Perhaps we have been changed, and we fall back into some "evil ways".  God is waiting for us to turn back to Him with sincere repentance and rededicate our life to Him.  It's never too late to accept His forgiveness.
     Are you sick?  Do you feel an illness of the soul?  Go to the Doctor.  He alone can dispense the cure.  
     2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

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