Devoted to Inner Transformation
Here is an excellent thought by our guest blogger Inger Eliasabeth Aquino on the goal of our inner transformation.
One of the biggest obstacles for inner transformation is to conform to the pattern of "that’s just how I am"
The Christian life is a constant movement to become more like Christ. God loves us so much that He doesn't want us to stay as we are. Inner transformation is our lifetime goal as followers of Christ. That goal requires intentional and conscious efforts and submission to the Holy Spirit. How do we actually turn more into the likeness of Christ? Well, by knowing Him, spending time in His presence, reading His word, walking with Him daily and listening to The Holy Spirit speak to us.
After a long period of not being able to work due to sickness, I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This chronic illness forced me to limit my involvement in my local church, close friendships and family. It was easy to believe that God didn’t love me that much. I felt that I had become less. It felt so unfair! It all turned into a process of accepting how life was and I struggled to fight lies about myself, God and my future. I cried out my pain to God and the Holy Spirit reminded me of bible verses about my identity in Christ, who God is and His promises to me. God’s grace helped me to replace lies with the truth. Romans 8:38-39 became my truth, that nothing can separate me from God's love. Sickness can’t stop me from being loved by God. I live with faith on being healed, resting that God is in control of my life, His timing is perfect.
Transformation starts in our mind and that influences how we act and feel. Proverbs 4:23 says: “protect your heart, your life flows from it”. Solomon later says in Proverbs 23:7 “How a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. It’s important to work on the roots of a mindset to avoid repetitive cycles. Digging out roots is often painful and vulnerable, but true freedom only comes by replacing lies with the truth. Every living organism grows from the inside out. What we do matters, but who we are matters more. Paul says in Romans 12:2 that we can renew our minds by replacing the lies with the truth. I think that’s a perfect plan. We need God's help to be transformed.
The fruits that will follow transformation will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23). That is fruit that can be found in the middle of any circumstance. Becoming more like Christ is done piece by piece, a lifetime-goal and Christ is the example of what love looked like. Love is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as being patient, kind, protecting, always hoping, enduring, trusting and always having perseverance.
Do we recognize any of these in our own life? Are you willing to be transformed or do you settle for the phrases “that’s just how I am” or “that’s how I always have been”?