Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7 : 1
There’s a song that seems to sum up the human condition in just two words. Written by Paul Anka, made popular by Frank Sinatra. “My Way” is a story of a man coming to the end of his life declaring he did it “my way”, his way. Isn’t that just like the majority of humans, at least, every chance we get? The youngest talkers learn “I do it myself” quite early. If my way means mismatched clothes, uncombed hair, and shoes on the wrong feet, then that’s the only way they are satisfied. We think it is cute when kids do it. But it’s a different story when kids become adults who just want to do things our way. It shows up in many ways. For me, it is evident in cooking and painting. I cannot, no, I WILL not follow a recipe exactly as it is written. I just have to tweak it to make it my own. And I have tried a painting class where each brush stroke and color choice was dictated by an instructor. Each finished painting looked similar. But I could tell, when I looked at my mine, that I had held that brush much too tightly, and I had tried to swirl the colors together to make my own choice of hue.
As I type this, I am relaxing at my favorite spot by Lake Junaluska. I am trying not to think about all the things I ought to be doing so that I can just “let go and let God” dictate whatever comes next. I have been learning about relaxing my body since I started going to a chiropractor. I realized early on that the one thing I need most is to relax my muscles. I have not slept well in years, I think because I never truly relax until exhaustion claims me..even then my stubborn spirit tries to keep control. Just ask my husband who has been rudely awakened by an elbow to the ribs, or literally, once an elbow grinding against his eye socket.
Why is it so hard to just let go? Surrender means to fully release yourself from fighting back or swimming against (my definition), that doesn’t come naturally to most of us, if we are honest. As we seek the Lord to become more transformed to His image, let’s do our best to unclasp our hands, let loose our minds(to Him alone) and rest into His Spirit.
Join us for Transformed 2022 on October 15th. Together we'll worship, pray, study, and lean in to what it means to walk with Jesus in full surrender.
What's the origin of this Conference?
What exactly does it mean to be Transformed? The Cambridge dictionary says that '"transformed" means ‘to completely change the appearance and/or character of something or someone, especially with regard to the person or thing being improved.' Think about a butterfly. It begins as a caterpillar crawling around, only able to eat, and crawl around some more, not really going anywhere. But at the appointed time, it weaves a cocoon around itself, and waits…during that time, a transformation occurs. When it is ready, the butterfly emerges from the cocoon looking, and acting much differently! It has a unique beauty that is on display when it flies. Now the butterfly is free to go further, it’s purpose clear, to glorify God with its life. Even what the butterfly eats is different. No longer grubbing around in the dark leaves, the new creation goes from flower to flower drinking the sweet nectar of its provider. The ultimate transformation happens when we, as the pinnacle of God's creation, realize our sinful depravity in light of God’s perfect holiness, repent and submit to Lordship of Jesus Christ. God then gives us a new heart and makes us a new creation. Then we will be able to understand the things of God because the sin that was blinding us is washed away. Our spiritual eyes are opened; our hearts are given understanding. There is another transformation that occurs after this, as we, with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, renew our minds. Truly, God starts to line up our way of thinking with the way He thinks. This helps us see ourselves (and others) as He does. It is life changing. As well, we influence the world by being transformed into the image of Christ, enabling us to put more of God's glory on display. Even what WE eat is different. Instead of grubbing around on the filth that the world tries to feed us, we can now feast on the sweet nectar of our God’s very Truth. It brings freedom to our soul with every application of this good Word. No longer bound to the ways of this world, we are FREE to hope in Jesus, feed on His Truth, and give God glory by our new life in Christ!