Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Now Thank We All Our God"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)
While reading this verse, the picture of a transfer switch suddenly popped into my mind! A transfer switch is mounted near the electricity panel in a building that has a generator for backup power. The switch is a safety device which prevents electricity from entering the building from two sources at once — from the main grid and from the generator. This small electrical component was just what I needed to illustrate a grand spiritual concept: the transfer from the old life without Christ to the new life with Christ. This is about becoming Christian:
1 Peter 1:3b – In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (NIV)
I raise this topic because I've sensed considerable fuzziness here. The term "Christian" has come to mean anything vaguely connected to Christianity. The transfer switch image can help to restore a more precise meaning of "Christian" — from a scriptural perspective. A transfer switch ensures that power is drawn from only one source. That's just what God's transfer switch does: it switches the power source for our lives.
But here's where the transfer switch fails as an illustration: In a building, there's no difference when the electrical source is switched. Everything works the same. Not so with God's transfer switch! The difference is colossal!
Romans 8:2 – Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (NIV)
Our old or former power source is our sinful nature with which we entered the world. The new power source is the Spirit Who empowers our new life in Christ. This change within us is called regeneration — a fitting term, since it's truly about power. To be "in Christ" is to have a brand-new source of energy: a new authority, a new law driving our life, a new purpose, a new vision, a new power to love, an entirely new world view, eternal life, and much, much more. It's revolutionizing!
Can you see that this is not merely dry doctrine? Personally speaking, I've been working on this devotional topic for some time, and I can't finish it. Every morning something more pops into my mind. There's so much to say about the new life in Christ. (I've rewritten this several times!)
So, I leave the challenge with you. Ask God to reveal new truths about the life in Christ. That's His specialty, after all. The outcome for you will be more surprising than you can imagine!
For now, I merely add a practical caution: Without God's Spirit empowering our lives, we cannot live the Christian life as it's meant to be lived, and we'd be mistaken to expect it either of ourselves or of others. "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." (Romans 8:7 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, renew our appreciation and understanding of Your work of regeneration. Amen.
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May it be so, Diane.
Thank you for your inspiring message. Blessings.
Thank you for such a thought-provoking Devotional.
Thank you, Diane, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.
A clear and powerful illustration. Thank you for this perspective.
Grateful that you put so much thought into what being a Christian is all about – and it shows! Thank you for sharing your understanding today. We truly cannot keep it unless we give it away.
Thank you for the reminder that this is not merely dry doctrine but rather the truest essence of our faith and freedom in Christ.
I so appreciate your devotional submissions. Yes, making the transfer to accept Jesus in our lives and follow His way, truly is the switch to make.
Blessings to you.
Thanks for that devotional you sent through the Daily Devotional. It is a great example of the power of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer! May the Lord give you other messages to help renew us all.
Dear Diane – having just dealt with a transfer switch issue myself, this devotional rally hit home. In my case, however, the generator does not run m entire household. it will not run crucial component that do “heavy lifting” i.e. the stove, the stove top, the washer and the dryer. So, in some cases, the transfer switch analogy works perfectly for your Christian illustration purposes. That is… without God powering my whole life and whole household, I am missing crucial pieces – the foundational pieces, if you will, of my faith.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Without him… well good luck and good mucking about!!! Philippians 4:13 (NKJV).
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on God’s Transfer Switch. I was sure this was written by a male, so I was quite surprised to see it was from a woman. I grew up with 5 brothers and no sisters, so I feel often that I think like a male (eat like a male, walk like a male but feel and dress like a female). I was also blessed with two sons and not until my granddaughter came along did I get to see the difference in thought process, play, feeling, talking, etc. from a female point of view.
I think your analogy is very good and that we only need one source of power and light in our lives and that is from Jesus. We need to shut down our old power source. Blessings.
Good Morning Diane. Thank you for this morning’s devotional. I empathize with your struggle in writing it. This is not meant as a criticism, it just seems to me that in using the electrical/generator switch (whereby switching to a generator is usually a temporary step until such time as the electrical power is restored) as an analogy, it leaves it wide open to challenge that one can switch back and forth.
This is a good devotional, I’m just wondering…. Would it not be better to illustrate this with something that can be completely replaced, not able to return to, so as not to go back to our old ways?
Again, this is not a criticism, merely a thought from one reader.
Good afternoon Diane, Thank you very much for such a creative and thoughtful way of explaining what it is like to be a believer.
I forwarded the devotional to my two daughters who both have school age children.
I know it will foster good thinking at supper time when they have devotionals.
Great devotional, Diane. Such a clever concept to use the analogy with the transfer switch! I love it!