buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Transformation”

A New House

There is an older neighborhood in my city close to my gym. Sometimes I use the cut through to get to another area of town because it’s less traffic and a more scenic way to go. The neighborhood is in one of the booming areas so the older homes are being fixed up or torn down and made into something new. I love to see these transitions. The updated versions look fresh and new, but the new houses are vastly different. The updated versions are put on the market and sold quickly. But the older homes that are sold before the updates are quickly torn down. I love to see the progress of new things being built. Don’t you?

However, it’s quite a different story about progress we need to make in our own transitions to become new. Our spiritual lives are like that neighborhood. Some of us are the old houses that need some repair work. We are comfortable in our broken down condition; never seeking a carpenter to help us and eventually our bodies and our lives are in a ruinous heap. There are some who have sought out a carpenter and repairs are being made to remodel their lives. Then there are those who have not only sought out The Carpenter, but our houses have been demolished and the new houses are in the process of being built. Jesus, The Carpenter, doesn’t come to make us a better version of ourselves; He comes to make us new.

One of the things I struggle with is making goals. In the corporate world, we are told to make SMART goals – goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. When I was in the corporate world, every year I had to come up with a couple of goals. It was so hard to do in the position I was in. I did the grunt work – I was the detail person. Like I said last week, I was not the big picture person. I helped to make the big picture come together. It’s hard to have goals dictated by another’s vision. However, progress needed to be made in my own growth as an employee and a member of the team in order to achieve the big picture vision.

Andy Stanley said recently in a message “direction leads to destiny.” I have heard it said this way “we have to be going there to get there.” We need to be on the path moving in the right direction in order to become who we want to become. The only way to become someone new is to have goals to get there. We are given the vision of becoming new, but what does that look like for us as individuals? For us as believers in Jesus, we have our own personal transforming life coach living in us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us to help us to become the one Jesus saved us to become.

When I started on this transforming journey years ago, I didn’t realize the new me would be so totally different. I thought I was just a better version of who I was. However, I met up with some old friends from college and they wondered why I was so different. I no longer drank. My language was different. I was a different person before them. Unfortunately, I was afraid to tell them why I had changed. My life was different because of Jesus. When Jesus began His work in me, I didn’t know He would clean me up as He did. But He did and I am still being made new each and every day when I surrender to His work in me.

The thing about demolishing the old and making something new – it takes time. Sometimes the old comes down with a wrecking ball, sometimes it’s a tedious process of taking it down brick by brick. The new isn’t made overnight either. Our mindset is transformed every day as we open up God’s word. The thoughts we capture; the things we listen to and watch or read; even the people we even hang out with are transformed day by day when we give access to our internal and eternal life coach.

I still don’t have SMART goals yet, but I need the vision of who I want to become. In five years, I want to be completely different from who I am today. I must have my direction pointed toward my destiny. I can’t get there from here unless I am on the right path. How about you? Are you on the right path; going in the right direction? The key is letting our life coach have access to every part of our lives. Only then will we end up becoming brand new. In five years, we can all have a new house but it takes letting the Holy Spirit do His work in every area. He has to have access – give Him the keys. It’s the only way to become new.

Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (TPT)

We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it! Ephesians 2:10 (TPT)

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The Better Life

While spending a few days with my Dad as he lay in a hospital bed, I thought of conversations we have had over the years. He slept most of the time so I had time to think. I got on my health kick about twelve years ago. He told me one time that he never wanted to live to 120 years so he was going to eat what he wanted to eat and do what he wanted to do. I told him I also didn’t want to live to be 120, but I wanted quality of life until the end no matter the age. There is a family history of diabetes and heart related diseases that I just don’t want to experience later in life. I have learned how to handle my health as best I can with what I been given. Quality over quantity!

I usually don’t write about health related topics on this blog. I save it for my Denise4Health newsletters that I send out once a month. But as I consider the Body of Christ these days, on average we are an unhealthy bunch. However, I am noticing a trend that seems to be going in a good direction. In the natural healthcare doctor’s office where I work, I have noticed a few patients come through to get help on their health journey. They have decided to try the natural route because the traditional route has failed them. I get it. I went the traditional route too before I saw the light!

Once in a while, we’ll get a patient that thinks all they need is a supplement and that will be all the work that is required of them. But it’s so much more than a supplement. It’s a lifestyle. It means changing a few destructive habits. As Christians, this should be easier for us. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us transform. However, we don’t put health in the same category as spiritual transformation. But I think health transformation is right in line with spiritual transformation. If the body isn’t healthy, the spirit and mind are not healthy. The stool (mind, body, spirit stool) collapses when one of the legs gives out. Each part of the stool is significant for complete transformation.

Many times, God has used my health to get my attention. When I needed rest, He put me in a place where I could rest. I had Rocky Mountain spotted fever back in the 80’s that knocked me down for quite a while. I had female troubles off and on for about twelve years. I have grown closer to God during those difficult times. I think when I am struggling the most is when I seek Him harder. Maybe that’s why He continues to send me down that health path. It would be nice if I could seek Him hard when things are going well for me.

God wants a better life for us than what we currently accept as normal. We settle for average. We settle for popping a pill and keep moving instead of seeking His best for our lives. We don’t slow down long enough to seek Him and His direction. Or maybe that’s just my way; maybe you’re different. When we become sick and tired of being sick and tired, I think that’s when we look for a better way. At least that was my case. I really do want God’s best for my life. If I have to make a few changes to get to that life, I will do it. Even now, if there are things that I am doing that are not the best for me, then I need to change my ways.

Andy Andrews said that to change we need to see “what’s in it for me” and “proof beyond a doubt” in order to make a change. We don’t have to hit rock bottom. We don’t have to wait until the last-minute. All we need to do to change is turn our minds to the thing we want to do and just do it. It’s a decision. It’s taking a step in that direction. One small step leads to another. We don’t have to make drastic changes, but make one thing different from what we’ve done before. Trade up to a better life. It can be done. One step at a time.

After ten days in a hospital bed, Dad was transferred to a rehab facility. They sat him at a table and put a meal before him. He ate it like he was starving (and he probably was). While he was in the hospital, he ate very little and was very lethargic. What a difference a little nutrition makes! He was much more alert and responsive after just one meal. I think he is in the right place for the right time. God still works on the health journey of a 90-year-old man. He can do it for you too. Seek His will for your life and find the better life!

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 (NLT)

The Waterfall

I love to travel. I love going to different places that have natural beauty. I just am so much more aware of God’s presence in those places. Over the years, I have found a real love of waterfalls. I love to hear the water falling onto the rocks below. In the majesty of thunder and the roar of the water, the power that is exhibited in the rushing waters leaves me in awe. I lived in the mountains when I was younger, and I got to see a few waterfalls while traveling around in those hills and valleys. Maybe that’s where I got the fascination of waterfalls. Such beauty is those places and gives me such a sense of peace.

Recently, I heard a statement that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. It was an imagery that resonates so acutely with the power of waterfalls. I don’t remember who made the initial statement, but it was in the context of God’s love for us. The speaker said that God’s love was like a waterfall. If we would get beneath that waterfall, we would experience such a profound change in our hearts that we could not be silent about it. Think about it. If God’s love was poured out on us like a waterfall, we would be forever changed! If we truly believed in God’s great love for us, we couldn’t be silent any longer.

Water changes the landscape. Whether it’s falling off a cliff or cutting a path through the valley, it’s changing the landscape of where it flows. All we have to do is look at the Colorado River carving the deep path of the Grand Canyon. Or look at the rocks below the waterfall to see the smooth stones in its path. The water takes off the sharp edges and smooths the rough places. If I consider things in a spiritual way, God’s living water does the same thing for us. The living water changes our landscape in our hearts. We are forever changed by the path it takes.

In John 4, we are told that Jesus gives us the Living Water. If we ask Him for this living water, we will never thirst again. “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). This picture of water welling up in us gives me the idea that it has to overflow somewhere. It doesn’t just well up and evaporate or get stagnant. But it is living; it is flowing; it does not stay put. It carves a new path. It washes over to form a new life. The love of Jesus causes us to change. I think though we don’t actually understand this love. I know I have struggled to understand it myself. But I have to believe this truth. God said it, therefore I believe it. Because His words never lie. His love is powerful. His love is thundering down on us. His love roars in the deepest part of us, but we fail to listen; we fail to understand. We get sidetracked by our own interpretations instead of understanding the truth found in God’s word.

God’s love changes everything. His love sent Jesus to show us His reflection. His gaze is always on us; not of condemnation, but of love. His love is flowing like the waterfall. Stand up under it and let it transform you. There’s always room for one more under the falls. Soak it in and be refreshed by the Living Water.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

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