Since the early morning, I struggled with understanding our role in our spiritual growth. If I am to “make disciples of the nations,” what then are the instructions I am to provide to them? How does one position themselves to learn from Christ, to receive from him a transformation of their heart and character?
It gets dicey because we know, true heart transformation comes from the pure grace of God. So in this mindset, who am I to provide instructions for receiving a transformed heart; A heart from which the fruit of the Spirit naturally flows?
His Spirit Transforms
It is the work of the Holy Spirit that changes us. Not by my power.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Ok. If it “comes from the Lord,” do I just go to sleep and wait on him? I don’t think I can go to sleep because I hear him calling.
He’s Asking Me to Do Something
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me,” action words. “Take my yoke,” those are action words! “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” He’s talking about my bodily actions. He’s asking me to do something. This is no time to sleep.
He Speaks so I Understand
Just as I was debating with myself (and a few others I awoke with my questions at the crack of dawn), true to His character, he explained it to me in words I can understand; a parable I can relate to.
Spiritual growth is like the little black girl that wanted long beautiful locks of hair. She didn’t have to DO anything for her hair to grow. That was a natural part of who she was. Yet her hair was fragile. So her mother introduced her to hair products that would nourish her hair. She taught her how to tie her hair in a satin scarf at night to avoid the drying effect of her cotton pillowcase. The little girl was required to allow her mom to moisturize her hair regularly. “Come get your hair done,” she would say. Without this hair regime, her hair could easily become dry, brittle and break off at the ends. And so it is with the transformation of our hearts.
We Have a Responsibility
You see, we are NOT the ones that transform our hearts but we are responsible for our life and lifestyle. Don’t think for a moment that our hearts are being transformed while we spend our lives in their entirety conforming to the world. We are responsible to position ourselves to receive the nourishment from the living waters; Christ Jesus. We are instructed to guard our heart, for everything we do flows from it.
I’m still working and formulating my regime with the help of his Spirit; He leads me. But this I do know, the transformation of my heart while done by his Grace and power, requires that I DO something too. It requires that I position myself to receive it and that I do everything in my power to guard it.