Around this time of the year, nature transforms before our very eyes. Summer into fall, fall into a cold and dreary winter (disclaimer: I do not like cold weather).
Transformation is a natural occurrence of all living things. God created seasons to transform nature’s habitat, children shoot up, we change physically and relationships also transform.
From stale to thriving
Our relationship with our heavenly Father requires positive transformation. A relationship that does not change can become stagnant and stale. We need to train our hearts to be soft, tender and malleable with God, and that is something we all struggle with to some degree or another. Our society is becoming increasingly colder, emotions are stuffed down because many believe this is a sign of weakness therefore, it is becoming a challenge for us to access our hearts and for others to speak to our hearts. We would rather entertain cerebral or flippant conversations rather than express our feelings. But God desires our hearts to be transformed from being stale to being thriving and healthy.
Slow down and open your heart
Christianity is based on our relationship with God, this is at the ‘heart’ of it and unless we learn to access our own hearts and give God and others permission to go there, I’m afraid we can fall into the trap of the devil where our relationship with God and others grow stale.
One of the things we can do to kick start, as well as maintain a heart that is tender toward God, is to spend time in His presence. We all need to learn to quiet ourselves, slow our pace and allow God to speak to us and do His eternal work of transformation. But we also need to allow others to whom we give permission – mentors, fathers and mothers in the faith, to speak into our hearts, challenge us and push us to be better.
What are your motives?
A couple of weeks ago, the Lord strongly impressed on my heart that when we do get into His presence and enjoy His nearness, we do it primarily for personal reasons. What does that even mean? The Lord reminded me of a scripture in James who tells us that at times we seek the Lord and do not receive because we ask for our own personal gain. (James 4:3) If our intention is to seek God just to be classified as spiritual (as if that gives us a special status) then our intentions are wrong and we are only asking for our personal benefit, therefore asking amiss.
The presence of God should transform our characters, not just our ‘spiritual status.’ Ask yourself these questions: Am I kinder and gentler toward my spouse, children, co-workers, tender to the needs of others? Am I more compassionate as I spend time with my Father? If the answers are no, we need, among other things, to get with God in His presence.
God’s Presence is Redemptive
God’s goal in transformation is not to make us better just to be more spiritual. Feeling also that we do not measure up or don’t deserve God’s presence and His blessings in our lives is a ploy of the devil to keep us at bay. God’s presence is redemptive. He takes us just as we are in our present state, with all our faults and failures and transforms us to become more like Jesus. This is the ultimate transformation when it comes to our relationship with God.
Truth is, we will never measure up, we will never be deserving of anything God wants to bestow on us in His empowering presence. If we could earn it, we would not need Him, that’s why grace, God’s underserving favor, is so important in understanding how God operates. Let’s always keep this in the forefront of our hearts and minds, as we learn to come into His presence and allow God’s power to change us to be more like Him.
Are we allowing His presence to transform us?
Are people around us able to say we are more like Jesus today than we were yesterday?
Are we learning to be still and allow God access to our hearts?
I trust, as we have been reading this blog series on the Presence of God that we’re making progress in cultivating, growing and letting our hearts be changed to be more like a Jesus. Yes, this may be hard work, but there is beauty in transformation as we all learn to let go and let God!
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.