“…throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” – Ephesians 4:22-24.
Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne was known for his motivational locker room speeches. He had the ability to whip his players into a frenzy and the passion generated through those talks was reflected on the football field. As a result, Notre Dame won many games they probably should have lost. The question is whether we as Christians view faith in the same way. Do we need to be motivated? Do we view faith as an inspirational charge that gets us through the day.
Jesus did not give motivational talks to His disciples. In fact, Jesus made people a little uncomfortable on a regular basis. He spoke of shaking people’s foundations. Jesus’ message was about spiritual change, not emotional charge. Another name for spiritual change is transformation, where the old form of life becomes a totally new form of living. Transformation does not happen overnight, it is a series of steps.
That probably seems pretty obvious. No one would disagree that transformation requires a series of steps. Living the Christian life is a journey and every journey requires a lot of steps. The question is what steps do we need to take and in what order to become more like Jesus. It varies from person to person, but the Bible gives us a roadmap that we can follow as we work out our faith. Those include salvation, baptism, serving in the church, devotional time, tithing, loving others…well you get the idea. But, I would like to add some slightly less obvious steps we can take to become more like Jesus.
First, work on simplifying and decluttering your life. In today’s world we have so many choices, so many options because we don’t want to miss out on anything. The answer is to focus our energies and attention on God. God did not put us here to do everything, but to do His specific assignments. Of course, that requires focus. In a world of social media and internet connectivity, we can easily lose focus on growing as a Christian. Growing in Jesus becomes easier when we can block out all the distractions and noise around us.
Finally, be ready for change. Growth requires change. Change requires action. Remember the famous definition of insanity; doing the same thing and expecting a different result. God cannot help someone who refuses to change. It is like driving a car. You cannot steer a car that is sitting still. A car that is moving can be steered. We need to have a “sense” of direction—-know we are to do a thing—-then step out in faith—-trusting God to go with you and showing you what steps you need to take and when.
There are many kind and helpful things we can do everyday for people that do not need a special “push” from God to do. Part of our Christian living is seeing a need and trying to help.
If you surrender to God and His way of life, He will transform you. Are you ready to change?
- Is change necessary for transformation?
- What lessons have you learned through change?
- Have you seen good come from a change that seemed bad at the time? If so, how?
- How does your faith play a role during change?
- What do you need to do to take the next steps in growing more like Jesus?