This weekend we wrapped up what ended up being a great series called Renew.
We heard another powerful story, a window into Wendy Fenstemacher’s “My Journey”.
The message focused on two equally true realities about “Transformation”.
- It is the WORK of GOD
- We have a PART TO PLAY.
Our part is to create in our lives “SPACE FOR GRACE”. This is the whole point of spiritual disciplines, practices, devotionals etc.: to create some space for God’s life changing grace. Put another way we expose our lives to the grace, power, presence, healing, love of God.
Here’s how Paul put it:
2Cor. 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
We responded by planting seed of faith. Plans to put in our lives practices, rhythms, openings to experience the reality of God’s transforming grace. These are ways we learn to hold ourselves in His presence in an experiential way.
Let me give a couple of quick tips that on these plans that I didn’t get to in the message.
- PRESENCE IS THE POINT. His presence not the practice itself is the point. It’s so easy to turn the activity into the point of it all. It’s only the vehicle.
- PERFOMANCE IS PERIL. Stay miles away from this looking like performing for God.
- EFFORT… GOOD. EARNING… BAD. It takes some effort to pray, to read the scripture, to fast, to show up to small group, to take a class, to serve etc. Duh. But we need to stay away from ideas of earning stuff from God.
- MAKE A PLAN! DON’T MAKE A BLUNT FORCE INSTRUMENT. Planting seeds of faith and efforting toward them is good, critical, in fact, to moving on with God. But don’t turn your plan into something that you use to beat yourself up if you misstep.
- CELEBRATE ANY PROGRESS – Some progress in the right direction is good. It’s more than you would have made if you didn’t even try. God knows you. He loves you as is and is actively at work in your life. You will win! Just stay at it!
The best statement of health and balance I know in the Bible about these “MEANS” is…
1Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Yes! It’s God’s work. But we have a part! This is going to be exciting!