Last night at Alpha, we were discussing the whole topic of faith. Questioning whether we could be a Christian without change. We talked about the difference between knowing about God and having a real, tangible relationship with God. The difference between head and heart knowledge. If God dwells within us, can we do anything but mould. Change. Grow.
When you think back over the last week, the last month, the last year, the last season..have you seen any change? Change in your situation? Change in your character? Change in your behaviour? Have you grown recently?
Philippians tells say that we can be...
“...confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
God has started doing a good work in us. In you. In me. He has promised to keep doing that until the day we are deemed perfect by our Father in Heaven. He works in us and through us. But do we get in the way? Are we stubborn to his gentle call?
I look back over the time since I became a Christian and life is vastly different. I am different. I have found the promise that we become a new creation to be true. I often meet people who I haven't seen in several years and they literally don't recognise me. It is not just my outward appearance, it is everything. I hold my self differently. I think and speak differently. I am no longer little timid Louise. I am Lou. I have a long way to go, but I am on that journey. I look back and see that I have grown. But has it been recently?
I always find it amusing when I hang out with a friend for a prolonged period of time, I end up sounding like that person. Sharing phrases and mannerisms. I change and grow more like that person. I think its a sign of a good friendship. So shouldn't that be the same with our faith? Should it be natural to become more and more like Jesus as we spend time in his presence? Perhaps the reason I am not more like him is because I don't spend enough time with him. Is it because I unconsciously lock him out of my heart? Is he still knocking at a door thats been barricaded in a while? I wonder if I need to get into the habit of inviting him in every day.
I want to be transformed. I want to grow, to journey, to change. I seek out mentoring, those deep relationships that challenge, inspire and motivate. I welcome (most of the time) conversations that move me on and point out where I am going wrong. I am part of an amazing community that worship God. I spend my time doing things for Church. I have been reading the word each day. But how often am I welcoming Jesus in? Really letting Him dwell within me?
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
All those choices, habits and disciplines are good, don't get me wrong. They are all part and parcel, but I wonder if I unbalance my relationship with God by doing rather than being. Maybe daily growth would come by sitting and beholding. Opening the door of my heart and gazing at Him. I wonder what revelations, what challenges, what calls I would hear if this was part of my day? I wonder if I would grow. More tangibly. More wholly. More often. More like Him.