Beginning to comprehend the majesty and wonder of Christ and being able to live in a way which honors Him are two different things. We can begin to understand what He wants from us and yet struggle to make the mental shifts necessary to execute.
There are several reasons for this disparity. First, we were created so that we cannot manage the transformation on our own. This transformation from the inside out is possible and promised. But it requires us to reach out to God for His supernatural help by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus the transformation requires the pre-requisite of an ongoing right relationship with God. It requires God-dependence and a choice to begin exercising our interior selves to develop new habits to worship Him, pray, seek to hear His voice, take courage to follow where He leads and take every thought captive (realizing what we are thinking before our thoughts run away with us, and choosing to evaluate their Christlikeness under the magnifying glass of His Word.)
Transformation tends to be gradual and lifelong, but we must not get discouraged or give up. We will never be Christ, yet we strive for Christlikeness. We will never be as holy as God who is perfection for we are not. But we are called to increasing holiness as represented by our complete dedication of self to Him.
Salvation is a free gift from God and yet it comes with a price. The price demanded is to give up our lives and dedicate them to God. We give up slavery to fallable self, death, sin and all its ugly motivators (anger, hate, jealousy, etc) in order to become devoted, willing servants of God, who are ushered upon His most excellent Way of ultimate, complete freedom. He guides us, directs us and is patient with us as we journey ever closer into His heart.
Yes. Transformation is promised. It must be sought. It is gradual. We must forgive ourselves as He forgives us and give ourselves patiently over to the process in His perfect timing, knowing we are infinitely loved every step of the Way.
ROMANS 7:18-19, 22-25 (Amplified)
18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]
19For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.
21So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands.
23But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].
24O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?
25O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
ROMANS 8:1-3 (Amplified)
1THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.
3For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
PLEASE view the music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.)
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.