Do you want to be transformed?
Do you want to enjoy the benefits of good health?
For some people, good physical health is in their genes. You know, the kind of people who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound, hardly ever exercise, and feel great. I would guess most of you reading this had someone come to mind, and you’re nodding your head…feeling a mixture of envy, admiration, and disgust.
Me too. For me, staying healthy and physical transformation continues to take much time and effort. And it takes knowledge and help. From the Transformation chapter in my book Intentional Fitness (ready for release next week!):
When working out at the gym, it’s not uncommon to have someone review all of the equipment with us and help us determine which equipment will bring the most benefit. For eating right, we may consult books and other avenues that can help us know which food will be best. In both cases, we are looking to an expert who has experience and can guide us along. If we do as they say, follow their principles and formulas, we’ll enjoy physical transformation.
Our spiritual health is no different—we need to invest in growing spiritually and staying spiritually healthy. And we need knowledge and help. Continuing on in the book:
Spiritually, we have the Holy Spirit—the Counselor, Helper, and Guide—as our expert. We need to learn more about how to hear His voice and follow His ways. If we do as He says, we’ll enjoy spiritual transformation from the inside out. Unlike physical fitness, though, following the Holy Spirit is not a listen-once-and-follow-the-formula discipline—it’s a relationship. We walk with Him every day.
Even though I initially wrote this paragraph years ago, the reality just hit me today: as a Christian, good spiritual health is in my genes because I have my own Personal Counselor. Woo-hoo, how awesome is that!
Then how come after knowing Jesus for over 20 years, I still struggle? Why do I still repeat the same hurtful behavior when I “know better”? Why do I often seem so stuck?
Wait, I’m asking the wrong questions. Let’s try this again.
Do I mess up (sin) as frequently and rebelliously as I did 5 years ago? Since last year, even? No!
Have I experienced softening of my heart as I’ve been miraculously healed of past hurts and sins? Yes!
Do I behave in gentle and kind ways that I never thought possible due to the Lord's changes in me? Yes!
Wow, little by little and step by step, I am being transformed!
Remember that all transformation is a process, and process takes time. Spiritual transformation also takes willingness on our part to listen to and obey the Expert, the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t just happen by osmosis and chance. Or even by prayer alone. I can’t just pray to be a spiritual giant, and then go to bed and wake up the next day as Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore.
And our motivation is directly related to where we focus and what we think. When we focus on how we have not changed and keep asking, “What’s wrong with me?”, discouragement results and it’s easy to give up.
But when we focus on how far we’ve come and on the progress we’re making, and we are thankful for that progress, hope motivates us to continue. As we continue we will be changed, and we will be amazed at what the Lord can do. I know I am!
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV, emphasis mine)
CHALLENGE QUESTION: In what area of your life do you desire the most transformation? I join with you in prayer today that the Lord will guide you on your next steps.