by Ann Kelley
Has your life been turned upside down by the coronavirus, a move, or other major life change? God loves to use these times in our lives to break us out of old ways of thinking and seeing and to experience Him in a fresh way that can lead to transformation. The process can be painful. But the rewards? Oh, so worth it!
Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus and his life was never the same. He was transformed. A former Pharisee (bound by religious law and rule), his way of thinking and seeing was changed to the degree that he could write this in chapter 5 of Galatians (The Message):
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (v 16, 18, 22-23)
Does that way of life sound appealing? Are you ready to live freely and motivated by God’s Spirit?
We’ve all recognized parts of ourselves that we want to change.
Our tendency is often to become more determined to behave better or to beat down negative thinking. But lasting change, if it depends on our grit and determination, is rarely lasting. Fruit appears on a tree in the orchard as a result of the tree simply tapping into the nourishment of soil and light.
Like the tree, we soak up nourishment as we make the choice to tap in to God – and fruit begins to appear. True transformation develops slowly as we allow God to have access to our minds and hearts. He brings about the change to the degree that we allow Him. A major life change is fertile ground for admitting our weakness and falling into the arms of God. Surrender.
He creates beauty and transformation in a surrendered mind and heart.
Pray: God, I’m struggling with _________. I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to change my way of thinking and acting. I’m going to stop being disappointed in myself and thinking I can do this on my own. I want to trust you to do your transforming work in me. I have no agenda, no timeline. Just trust.
Listen: spend 5-10 minutes each day sitting silently with God. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them and hand them to God.
Journal: did a new thought or insight emerge from your time of silence? Write it down. Don’t be disappointed if you feel nothing “happened”. Don’t give up either. Make this a daily routine and consider gradually adding time to the period of listening.
Ann Kelley is the Director of Communications at Just Moved Ministry. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.