Being born can sometimes be a shocking and unpleasant thing.
Before birth, you are largely enveloped in darkness. The darkness is comforting and familiar since it’s all you know. Your eyes haven’t dealt with direct light before. You’re fed through an umbilical cord, with no need to ask for food, no need to seek out nourishment, no need to determine when it is and isn’t time to eat. You breathe liquids, you’re surrounded by liquids, and all your movements are within liquids.
Before you’re born, you’re entirely surrounded by your mother, the one person who is fully responsible for you. You have no responsibilities of your own. You don’t have to make decisions, weigh options, or think deeply about anything.
So far, life has been successful. You eat. You grow. You move around a little. Things aren’t too bright, too loud, or too jarring. You don’t have to make a lot of choices. Overall, some might say life before birth is easy-going, peaceful, and maybe even relaxed.
But there’s one small detail…
You can’t stay there. The longer you live, the closer you move toward leaving that world. You’ll either come out and meet the new world, or someone will come in and remove you. The only way to keep living is to leave the darkness and start the next phase of life.
And so you are born.
You didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. You didn’t have to perform a bunch of amazing feats. One day it because clear that something wasn’t the same. It was obvious that *something* was happening. And then EVERYTHING changed.
And there was light. And it was good. But it was bright. Your first time in it may have been a bit startling. Your eyes might hurt a little bit at first. It’s okay, your eyes will probably adjust.
You have new senses. Or, more accurately, you have new access to existing senses. You can taste and see and smell and hear and FEEL things like never before! It’s almost overwhelming.
That first birth was a long time ago for most of us.
Jesus the Christ says regardless how you were born, you have to be born again (John 3:3). And Jesus is the final authority on such things (Matthew 28:18). Your natural birth is complete. You were conceived in natural darkness and born into a natural world full of natural light from the sun. The natural world is … well, natural.
But you, my dear sibling, are supernatural (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:7, 21-22).
Before being born again, we are largely enveloped in spiritual darkness. Hatred, selfishness, greed, lust, pride, deception, and laziness seem to saturate the world (Galatians 5:19-21). Some of these things become familiar, predictable, and comforting. And people love them (John 3:19). We are fed these things through daily interactions, entertainment, idle thoughts, and societal pressures and norms. We don’t have to ask for it, but often we go the extra mile and actively seek out negativity and drama.
We often avoid deep thought and critical decisions. On the other hand, we often opt for deep thought and debate instead of timely action. So we eat and grow and move around in a world that is in fact very loud, jarring, chaotic, and full of choices that bring repercussions. We tell ourselves “this is life.” But in the back of our minds… and I mean every single one of us… we *know* one very uncomfortable truth.
We can’t stay here, just like we couldn’t stay in the womb.
The longer we live, the closer we come to leaving this world. We all know it. And so we must move into the next phase of life. We must be born again.
We must leave the darkness of this world and move into the spiritual, the supernatural light.
This time you have a choice in the matter (Deuteronomy 30:19). You still don’t have to perform amazing feats, only believe, repent of your sins, and be baptized (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:37-38, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-4, Matthew 28:19-20). Because it is a decision this time, many of us will choose death instead of rebirth. Some of us would rather die in control than to live under someone else’s rule.
But for those who choose rebirth, EVERYTHING changes.
We are born again. We are newborn babes squinting in awe at Jesus’ light. We have to learn to walk spiritually. We spend a long time in the toddler stage, stumbling as we walk in that light, letting God’s word act as a lamp to our feet (Psalm 119:105). We learn to depend on our Heavenly Father for everything (James 1:17). We trust Him to feed us, protect us, surround us, comfort us (Matthew 6:25-33, Matthew 11:28-30).
We recognize His power (Colossians 1:16) and our weaknesses. We even recognize His power IN our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We are humble servants and at the same time joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:12-17). We are saints (1 Corinthians 1:2). We are priests (1 Peter 2:9). We are children of the Almighty God (John 1:12, 1 John 3:1).
We are walking around in the same dark world, but we were born into a kingdom of light. We are ambassadors of that kingdom, spreading the good news and mercy to those who have yet to choose the second birth (2 Corinthians 5:20). And with so many people so comfortable and familiar with the world of darkness, we have a lot of work to do. What’s our work, you ask?
To shine (Matthew 5:14).
To add flavor (Matthew 5:13).
To obey the Father (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
To love God (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37).
To love our neighbors (Romans 13:9).
To live like children of the Most High (Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 5:1).
If you have been born again, live like it. Talk like it. Walk like it. Most importantly, LOVE like it. Newborns and little children don’t generally have much trouble embracing, forgiving, trusting, laughing, and sharing experiences that excite them. Dive deeper into your faith and your love of the true God, the living God. Depend on Him for all things. Trust Him and His word. Remember who you are in His kingdom.
If you haven’t been born again, please believe me, it’s time. We all know we won’t be here forever. Don’t make this place your permanent home. This place has an expiration date and we just don’t know what it is.
Let’s live. Let’s grow. Let’s develop the proper relationship with our Heavenly Father.