Read Lead Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Ponderings here!
Transformedby Duane Mabee on September 26, 2018
Having recently completed six years of research on the question of how God transforms us, I can tell you that genuine transformation is about loving God and people with everything you have. To reach that state, you must be permanently changed. First, you have to be broken by God – broken over your sins against Him, over your focus on self, and over your reliance on society for your cues and marching orders. And it gets tougher once you are shattered by what you’ve done and who you’ve become. At that point, you have to surrender the fullness of your life to God and submit yourself to His will. That’s a searing process: being humbled by your bad choices, getting over yourself, recognizing the holiness of your Creator Father, accepting His forgiveness and love, and returning that love by throwing out your own plans and expectations and completely adopting His. Only then can you truly love God and others. Without this kind of inner transformation, you’ll choose to love yourself more than Him. When push comes to shove, and difficult choices have to be made, you’ll opt for those things that advance you rather than God. Brokenness, surrender, submission, and deep love – those are the “big four” that most of us ignore most of our lives to our own detriment and that of the people we’ve been placed on earth to love and serve.
Brokenness, surrender, submission, and deep love – those are the “big four” that most of us ignore most of our lives to our own detriment and that of the people we’ve been placed on earth to love and serve. I thought it was worth repeating that line, because we’ve all been taught to avoid at all costs the “big four”. We’ve bought into the idea that to be effective we need to be the opposite of each of those. But, Christlikeness is only developed through brokenness, surrender, submission and deep love. Without those, we are not following Christ. Without those, we are doing harm to ourselves and the people around us. Regardless of what our culture – or our own hearts – will tell us, without those, we have not been transformed.
Are you truly broken over the offensives ways you have treated God and other people? Have you surrendered – and continue to surrender – both your will and your activities to Christ’s control? Do you actively submit to God’s authority and leading in every part of your life? Do you deeply love – in words and actions – the people God has placed in your life? That’s what it means to be transformed.