Read to Lauren Daigle’s Come Alive (Dry Bones)
When transformation comes to your life, you will find that a lot of your already established relationships may not progress. True changes impact the way that we experience the world, the way that we perceive experience, the way that we process information, and even the way that we think. I always encourage people to see true transformation almost as a God-given superpower. The reason is because not every one gets to achieve transformation in their lifetime. Many are those that get to live also get to die without ever achieving a change that gives them the answer to who they are and why they are here.
Ten years ago, I thought that I had achieved this transformation. I assumed this because I had some strong changes happen in my thought process. I felt invincible, certain, self-confident. I thought that these were the changes that people at church speak of; the ones that we see throughout the Bible. These transformation stories permeate many of the Bible narratives that we popularly know today in the Christian community. These stories are famous even outside the church. Who doesn’t recognize the story of David and Goliath, the story of Adam and Eve; the story of how the serpent tempted in Eden, Cain and Able, Noah’s Arc, and so forth. A Bible verse that stands out to me is:
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I made the greatest mistake that any person can make as they start to grow in their faith. For instance, I did not accept the questioning of my faith. I wanted to be in this spiritual high that carried me everywhere. IT – FELT – GOOD. The problem with this concept is that it does not prepare anyone to be challenged, and it is fully founded on feelings. The Bible is clear about our human feelings, with are a reflection of what goes through our minds and heart:
Proverbs 28:26 “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Your faithful path will be challenged daily, if it hasn’t already. These challenges will come in the shape of relationships gone wrong, miscommunication, resentment, lies, envy, and many other formats. Because I would not wrestle with my spiritual beliefs, I fell deep. The word of God is clear that we will find ourselves in times of wrestling; yet these will be used by the Lord to grow us.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV
I wanted to love unconditionally, yet I did recognize that God is the only one capable of loving this way. He is love (1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”). We were made with love, but we are not the definition of love. I struggled because, in a way, I felt that my new spiritual journey made me higher than others. Correction: I felt that I had achieved a heightened emotional stability that others around me lacked. I had fallen into false wisdom (Ecclesiastes 7:16 “Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?”).
It was as if every God-belief that I ever had began fading when hard times came. I did not accept that it was well to feel helpless; to accept my very natural instinct of letting concern, worry, and doubt take over. I fell hard, deep, and could not get out of this terrible pit. You see? A heightened level of self-serving faith is not what the Lord wants us to have because we were created to be in communion with Him. The Lord seeks us so that we can open the door to an amazing relationship that leads us to love.
But because the Lord is a God full of mercy, He gave me one more chance (I’ve had many chances–He has been so merciful). I prayed to the Lord to make me new because there was a point in my life when I felt that I had it all, yet something was dying. I felt empty, dead, unconcerned, angry, desperate, sad, and depressed. I was in a sea of wickedness that was consuming me, slowly drowning me into a pit of desperation. I prayed this prayer without knowing that the Lord would respond. He did…with refining fire.
If you pray for wisdom, He will give you opportunities to increase in wisdom. If you ask Jesus for patience, He will provide situations that will require you to be patient. If you ask God to make you new….He will break you and put you back together. No, it is not a torture game where God continuously responds in a sadistic way. He is love; and has named you worthy of His time. Therefore, He takes His time to refine you so that you can be freely transformed.
Today, I find myself in an environment that is uncertain. God has been taking me apart, taking out all the useless pieces that I added myself. All the cells of bondage that I accepted from the enemy; those are being broken by Christ Himself in me. He is restoring me with new things, washing me, reminding me that I am His. Notice that I said that I was uncertain about the future; I did not state that I am worried. While worry strikes me often, I cannot say that I live in fear. I know that the enemy sends me his fallen little friends to wreak all sorts of havoc in my life, but I am on to them. I do not entertain their evil ways because they are unworthy. I only look up to the One that took notice of me and is transforming me. He is worthy.
RISE. TRANSFORM. BE AUTHENTIC
Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”