Adrian Dieleman tells the story of one man’s transformation: “Oscar Cervantes is a dramatic example of the Spirit’s power to transform lives. As a child, Oscar began to get into trouble. Then as he got older, he was jailed 17 times for brutal crimes. Prison psychiatrists said he was beyond help. But they were wrong! During a brief interval of freedom, Oscar met an elderly man who told him about Jesus. He placed his trust in the Lord and was changed into a kind, caring man. Shortly afterward he started a prison ministry. Chaplain H. C. Warwick describes it this way: ‘The third Saturday night of each month is “Oscar Night” at Soledad. Inmates come to hear Oscar and they sing gospel songs with fervor; they sit intently for over 2 hours; they come freely to the chapel altar. . . . What professionals had failed to do for Oscar in years of counseling, Christ’s Spirit did in a moment of conversion.’”
Mere reform is not enough, there must be a transformation of who we are. When we open ourselves to that kind of deep renovation, God meets us and makes us new.