Monday, April 26, 2010

“Transformation by the Spirit”

Lately we have been talking a lot about the power of God and how that power can transform us. Spiritually, many of us want to know and experience God more powerfully. We may hear a lot about "personal transformation” or “congregational transformation” but sometimes when we look at our own feeble attempts to improve ourselves or our circumstances, we wonder just who truly changes and how this transformation can happen. We may also feel frustrated and disappointed that God doesn't seem to be doing more to help, and we desperately want to know if there is any hope for us.
Many of us want a better relationship with God and a more fulfilling life, but are we also willing to admit our limitations, struggles, disappointments, and longing? Spiritual growth is truly possible; God is already at work drawing you closer to him and transforming you, whether or not you can see or feel it. The love, joy, and peace you are longing for is not reserved for a few special people but is available to you as well, as you learn to better recognize God's activity in your life and how to flow better with the Spirit's leading day by day.
What can we expect to have for a Spirit-led living and personal transformation? I read recently an article on how we should think of the Spirit as the wind of God it may help us in our perceptive of the Spirit. As a cool breeze may bring relief in the summer, or as a strong air current may fill a sail, the Holy Spirit can suddenly change our perspective, our feeling, or our capacity to respond to any given situation. Through the Holy Spirit, our experience with the grace of God becomes active, and we are able to sense what was not accessible to us otherwise, and to respond in often surprising and life-giving ways to others.
The Holy Wind breathes new life into us, transforming our thinking, feeling, and behavior even while our basic nature remains flawed and limited. Spirit-led living means just what it implies: we live out our God-given purpose in life by virtue of the Spirit's ongoing work within us. This happens moment by moment, as we follow the Spirit's leading, and not by becoming permanently and irrevocably transformed. Our basic human nature is not changed as much as we are enabled to grow in our ability to let the Spirit have its way in us and to keep in step with the Spirit's prompting. We do in fact mature, but we never stop being flawed, limited human beings. Over time, we will become more gracious toward ourselves and others, accepting our human limitations and failures better. We will learn how to become more attentive and responsive to the Spirit's prompting and leading, more helpful to others, and, as a result, more fruitful in our ministries. Spirit-led living provides us with a way to move from unhealthiness to the life God intends for us not as a permanent, complete transformation, but as a tool for living out of our best self in the moment.
Feel the breeze, see ya in church but until then take care of yourself and one another.
Peace & Grace,

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