Moments of Impact
Moments of impact. We all experience them. These are events that whether expected or otherwise, change your life forever. Some moments of impact are extremely difficult, like the death of a loved one. Others may be positive like graduating from high school, getting married, receiving a raise or having a baby. The common theme throughout all of them is that you remember vividly where you were and exactly what you were doing when they happened.
How about these moments of impact for our nation: Pearl Harbor, John F. Kennedy assassination, and 9/11 just to name a few. I may be a little young (just a little) to remember Pearl Harbor, but I bet my Grandma knows where she was when she received news of this. I know exactly where I was when I heard that the World Trade Centers had been hit: Spanish class with Mrs. Beck my sophomore year of high school.
Moments of impact. They are seared in the mind and leave you changed forever.
What about these moments in the spiritual realm? I can vividly remember times that I stood firm in my faith, times I wanted to compromise what I knew to be truth and give way to another one of Satan’s lies, but I stood firm. At the time I may or may not have acknowledge how grave the consequences could have been. These moments of impact are ones to recall on occasion. They remind us of God’s intervention in our lives. These are the times when every fiber in your being wanted to gratify the sinful nature. But you put on your armor and stood firm.
Of course we have to look at the flip side. There are moments of impact when I didn’t stand firm, when I caved like I had no self-control whatsoever. Can you relate? Maybe it was something “small” like a lie when you were a child. I remember lying to my neighbor one time. I couldn’t have been older than second grade. Was there really lasting damage from that? No. But I remember exactly where we were standing and the thoughts that were running through my head. Even at a young age I learned a lesson that has stayed with me.
Moments of impact.
The times I am really thinking about right now happened in my adult life when I did know better. These are times that I blatantly walked into a situation knowing it was wrong and did it anyway. I am ashamed to say I have many, many more of these times than I care to admit. Remember, my memory is pretty good which can sometimes be quite an inconvenience. Let me also remind us how important it is to forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead. If my memory serves me correctly, I already wrote about both of these topics.
At the same time we have an obligation, a privilege, really, to glorify God any chance we get. Today I can recall one moment of impact that on the anniversary of the event, God replaced the memory with something amazing. I have wondered if this date would be something I would always struggle with. And while I may always remember it because of how my brain is wired he has given me something new to replace it with. This date now reminds me not of my sin but of the first time we had a sonogram of our baby. Not all sinful moments of impact are followed up with an anniversary as glorious as this. But when they are, how sweet it is.
This gift reminds me of the gift we have in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
I am not who I was. I have been made new! And God reminded me of this by replacing what was a sinful day and giving me a new, pure memory to replace it with. I have been made right with God. He does not keep punishing me over and over for my sinful moments of impact. Every moment I am made new in Christ.
Again, Paul writes in Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
We can praise God through moments of impact, even the ones we fall short in. He has given us new life, being made new in the attitude of our minds. I have shared just one day as an example. What is your story? This may be a fresh way for you to look every moment. What is something that Satan meant for your destruction, but God redefined that day, giving you a new moment of impact? (Side note: I love when our stories consist of “but God”. Another lesson for another day.)
In looking at the life of Christ I would say one of the greatest moments of impact was his death. Think back to this scene of him crying out, “It is finished,” The dark sky, the curtain being torn in two, and the absolute emptiness that must have ensued. Then, just three days later, the greatest moment of impact happened: he rose. And this forever redefines our destiny.
If we are in Christ, our greatest moment of impact is when we accept Christ as Lord and are baptized. This, like Christ’s resurrection, forever redefines what our moments of impact ultimately mean. It is time, brothers and sisters, to live as a new creation, to put off the old self, and to live victoriously through every new moment of impact.