by Colin Dexter

Thom Rainer (extract)

“When we lead our people in the process of transformation, we need to orient them to the reality of the war within them. Romans 8:8-9 says, “Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Once a Christian, the Spirit lives within us. But the “old self” still wars against the transformation. It is a battle and process that will continue until we enter eternity.

1. Transformation stalls without spiritual exercise.
2. Transformation stalls amidst envy and strife.
3. Transformation stalls when we live like the world.

Striving Rather Than Stalling

What if each morning, your church members prayed something like this: “Lord, I choose to be sold out to you today. Let me cross paths with those who need to see how your power transforms a life. Let me put others ahead of myself. Rejecting the feebleness of this world, help me to live like Christ.”

Imagine the transformation possible if they chose to place God’s mission and the interests of others before their own. I fear that too many people simply hope to survive the day unnoticed and unscathed. I discovered that such a mentality is too much like the world and too little like Jesus.

In listening to the stories from our research, we discovered that churches and individuals experiencing transformation all went through a cathartic moment in life. At some point in time, they looked around and decided that more was possible. Some came to this conclusion because of negative circumstances and others because of a great victory, but the principle was clear: a decision must be made.

The natural order of things is for energy to wane, and things come to a grinding halt.

But the Christian life does not have that intention. God creates a new life in us and wants to transform our everyday living into a portrait of the gospel’s power. “

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