People love and hate change.
We want certain parts of our lives to change, yet we also don't like the disruption.
Habits make us feel safe and create containers to hold our lives.
This is why the "new norm" of 2020 and 2021 is so hard; the pandemic recorded our routines.
Biblically speaking, growth into Christ-likeness is our God-ordained destination, and we would do well to understand how this growth happens.
How do we change?
Here are three spaces we must place ourselves to grow.
First, Change comes from God's Word
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." - John 17:17
Jesus placed our sanctification (our ongoing growth into His image) in the presence of His Word.
We shouldn't be surprised.
Throughout Scripture, God's Word brings change, growth, and transformation (Genesis 1:3; Matthew 9:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12).
How often are you submersing your life in God's transformative word? Or are you trying to change apart from it?
Second, Change happens in God's Community
"I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." - Acts 26:17-18
God not only saves us out of the kingdom of darkness, but He transfers us into the Kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13).
God sets us apart at salvation (positional sanctification) and continues this work through the community of those being sanctified (progressive sanctification).
As Paul said, we need a truth-speaking, loving community to grow — "Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into… Christ…" (Ephesians 4:15).
Have you placed yourself in a community of Christ-followers who can both accept and challenge you to grow in grace? Or are you trying to change apart from others?
Third, Change matures by God's Spirit
"God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth." - 2 Thessalonians 2:13
The Holy Spirit continues to set us apart for Christ that we might be agents of love in the world.
Peter writes to the elect exiles (i.e. those set apart), "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood..." - 1 Peter 1:2
The Spirit works power in us to continue to obey Jesus. Obedience keeps us connected to Jesus, where we grow in love, joy, and peace (John 15:9-11).
Do you acknowledge your need and depend on the Spirit to work change into your life? Or are you trying to change apart from Him?
Extensions of Christ
Notice Jesus' Word, people, and Spirit are all extensions of His presence.
Change happens in Christ's presence.
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:18
We become what we behold, and Jesus is all-together lovely to behold.
Let's seek Jesus' face through:
His People and
And in becoming more like Him, let's become our true selves.
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