Friday, February 11, 2011

Transformation Needed

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9; ESV)

I’ve learned a long time ago not to buy clothes for my wife when she is not with me, though sometimes I’ve forgotten what I’ve learned. I can’t explain it, but I am a sucker for sweaters. I see a sweater that I think my wife will like and I just buy it. Maybe it’s because I love sweaters so much! I have plain sweaters, sweater vests, argyles and even a couple of button-up sweater vests. I even have a pink sweater!

What I have learned is my wife does not need, want, desire, request, require or appreciate my tastes in HER clothing. Don’t get me wrong, she’s always polite. She’s kept several, like souvenirs, but she’s worn none of them! This doesn’t even mention the shirts and shoes I presume to pick out for her. Here’s the deal: she has different tastes than I do. Point blank. End of story. I give up. (Until I see another sweater!)

God’s thoughts and ways are vastly different from our own. I don’t imagine many of us need convincing of these fact.

Our tendency is to make God very human, very like us. He’s not. Not even close. However, God calls us to be like Him (ref: Leviticus 11:44 & 1 Peter 1:16). How can it be that God would desire us to be like Him when we know we are so very different from Him? Simple: God desires spiritual transformation for us. Further, God empowers spiritual formation in us!

For that to even begin, we must be “born again,” meaning we must have a spiritual rebirth (John 3). We must be born from above, birthed again to new life in Christ, having died to self and come alive by faith in Christ and the quickening of the Holy Spirit. With that new life comes God’s promise to keep on completing what He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).

The promises of what that will look like are incredibly encouraging:
  • A new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • Power for living (John 15:1-5)
  • Service like Jesus, and more (John 14:20)
  • Unchained from the power of sin (Romans 6:1-14)
  • Fellowship with the Living God (Hebrews 11:6)

Of course, there’s more! Since God’s ways are so far from our own, we need spiritual transformation to experience Him. Since these wonderful promises are not attainable by the work of our own power, we need a miracle! That’s what being “born again” is! It’s a miracle!

People surrendering to God in Christ Jesus receive the marvelous help of the Holy Spirit to be born from above into new life with a new nature: TRANSFORMATION!

Too many church people are trying to live a life of religious-do-it-done-it. Wow. That’s not what we’re designed for. We’re designed for fellowship with the Living God. We’re designed to enjoy Him. We’re designed to love God. We’re for life, not just breathing. Sin is a murderous killer, separating us from life, which is in the Living God. It corrupts us thoroughly and spiritual transformation is both the beginning and continuing of healing and restoration.

We will never pursue the things of God in our own nature. We may pursue things we put God’s name on, but they won’t be of Him.

I can’t pick out clothes for my wife. I can’t be like God on my own. I need her help for the clothes. I need God’s help…period. I need God’s help.

Do you desire spiritual transformation? Seek the Lord. He’ll gladly give what He has freely offered.

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