An old friend of ours was college roommates with Orel Hershiser, record-setting MLB pitcher, while at Bowling Green State University. This friend said something I think about often: “That is not the real Orel Hershiser.” What he meant was what we saw as a player and now see as a broadcaster is not the real Orel Hershiser:
- The “real” Orel Hershiser drank and partied while a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity; the “fake” Orel Hershiser was seen singing hymns to stay relaxed in the dugout during the 1988 World Series.
- The “real” Orel Hershiser never talked about his faith. The “fake” Orel Hershiser is open about his relationship with Jesus Christ.
- The bottom-line is our friend preferred the “real” Orel Hershiser and believes the “fake” Orel Hershiser is fraud.
Our friend was correct about one thing: the “real” Orel Hershiser is a mess and broken and lives by the flesh. Orel himself would admit such and discusses this in his autobiography Out of the Blue. Our friend, however, was very wrong by stating that Orel Hershiser is a fraud. What he sees as a fraud is the “new” Orel Hershiser.
Orel become “new” the moment he accepted Christ; his identity was immediately changed and changed forever. Notice I didn’t say his behavior immediately changed. Because while our identity changes the moment we accept Jesus our behavior doesn’t necessarily change.
Our behavior changes only if our heart changes. And our heart changes only if our perspective changes. And our perspective changes only if we put something different in our minds – if we renew our minds
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We cannot be changed unless we fill our minds with the Word of God, spend a considerable amount of time in prayer and allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
I sometimes wonder why God didn’t design salvation differently; why doesn’t He change our behavior immediately? But the fact is it doesn’t work this way – our behavior doesn’t change automatically. It takes effort on our part; we need to do our part.
This is why so many of us can accept Christ and not see any noticeable difference. I know my behavior didn’t materially change until I understood this. It didn’t change until:
- I started spending a considerable amount of time in prayer allowing God to change my heart.
- I started spending time in the word allowing God to change my perspective
- I allowed myself to be led by the Spirit so the flesh doesn’t take over.
This is the only way I can be the “new” me and the fact is if I don’t do the things above the “real” me comes out in a hurry.
James 3:11 “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
In His Service,
Related verses: Romans 8:29
Related posts: Unanswered Prayers