God Wants The Real You
The Bible isn’t filled with people who are superheroes. They are ordinary people. People God chose, redeemed, and ignited with the Holy Spirit. They are people who messed up, failed, and didn’t have anything of great value to offer the world – except Christ in them!
“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world; things counted as nothing at all and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NLT)
We must come to a place where no matter what we do or who we are, we know we are chosen only because of God’s grace. If it is offensive for us to hear the truth that we aren’t chosen based upon all our efforts, control, perfectionism, and accomplishments, then we aren’t truly ready for this journey. God requires our true surrender – when we are willing to stop striving to earn or prove our worth through our own human efforts, and to let Him fill us with His truth and the power of His Spirit.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully submitted to Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT)
God needs you! No, not to because He can’t accomplish His purposes without you. What He needs is the person He hand-created you to be, so He can use you in accordance with the experiences, temperament, gifts, and abilities He has already equipped you with. This will allow Him to build His kingdom in this generation and in the generations to come.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NIV
- We’ve been on a journey together. We may have begun this journey worn out and broken down, looking for answers as to why life wasn’t working. We may have found some things we expected, but more than likely, we found many things we didn’t anticipate.
- In truth, the journey from brokenness to wholeness in Christ can be painful in our soul. Now that we have encountered the reality of the issues that we need to face, it can be extremely overwhelming to realize that the journey doesn’t end here. It’s really only beginning! It is a lifelong process. It requires rigorous honesty, fearless self-confrontation, daily surrender to God, and a willingness to live a life surrendered to Jesus.
- What exactly is the end result of this process? If we are courageous enough to follow God’s ways, we will embark on experiencing the fulfillment we’ve been seeking all along – a true, lasting inner peace and understanding of the love of God.
As we experience intimacy with Jesus Christ, we will be able to become the very person we were created to be. Even if human relationships at some point fail us, we will discover that we still have the capacity to experience the highest form of love possible – the agape love of Jesus.
Balancing Spiritual and Practical
There are two sides to the process of life transformation. The first is spiritual. It rests in the unseen things and the battle we are engaged in for our entire system of living – our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. To grow and become strong spiritually, we need to develop a lifestyle of spiritual discipline. This comes down to nurturing an intimate relationship with Jesus. It means being saturated in His truth and finding deep connections with others who personally know and have experienced God’s love. It does not mean legalistically attempting to “do” the Christian life. It means immersing ourselves in God’s Son, God’s word, and God’s people!
The other side to authentic transformation is the practical side. Since we live in a physical world and deal in physical-world situations, we need to learn to apply Biblical, spiritual principles to tangible life events. In other words, we need to make God’s truth sensible and real to others! If we over-spiritualize our lives to the point that we are absorbed by scripture referencing and concepts, yet don’t know how to effectively apply them in loving others, we will have little effect in reaching others with the saving, transforming message of Jesus. The broken world we live in wants to experience a real and relatable Jesus through us. Not one that is pious, intellectualized, religious, and unreachable.
The transformation process occurs as God changes us spiritually and brings that change into reality in our practical day-to-day situations of life. We cannot compartmentalize the Christian life. Our jobs or family or hobbies are not independent of our spiritual life. In fact, our lives in their entirety fall under one of two systems:
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