April 12, 2010
Few things are more aggravating for a teenager than having a broken leg during the summer. As his friends play outside, he is stuck in doors watching television, bored on the Internet or reading a magazine. The highlight of his day is attempting to soothe an itch he cant quite reach inside his cast. Summer was supposed to be spent goofing off at the park or city pool. Then came the collision that left his leg broken and his summer plans forever changed.
He finds it increasingly difficult to resist the urge to grab a saw or scissors and free himself from the restraints of his cast. Yet, trying to get back on his feet before his leg is properly healed can have devastating effects: excruciating pain, a hitch in his step, a noticeable limp or even worse, causing a deeper break.
Chances are good he will end up right back in a new cast for an even longer amount of time all because he was unwilling to let the cast do its job. The only objective for the cast is to put his leg in the perfect environment for change to occur.
It helps his broken leg heal.
The same is true when it comes to our heart and the effect a collision with Gods truth causes. Only in the midst of our brokenness can we be truly healed and come through the other side with a new heart.
Such a collision occurs when our perspective of how things are or should be collides with God. When we run smack into the truth, when the way we see things gets challenged, we typically do not respond by surrendering.
But, when we collide with truth, as well as Gods love and mercy, it transforms us, shifting how we see things, how we respond and how we walk. However, without placing ourselves in an environment where God can begin the transformation process, our close encounter will never make it to our heart. We must allow what we experience to sink deeper.
Like the teenager who wants to rid himself of the cast, we sometimes try to speed up or completely avoid the formation process of our heart. There is no vision or plan for our growth. We are either growing into what we were made to be or shrinking from it. The choice facing us is whether we will be intentional or not about the formation process.
Romans 12:2 says to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. A renewed mind, a new way of seeing, is critical for us to offer ourselves to God and sacrifice our purposes for His. It requires submission to the truth.
Formation happens as a result of encounter. We are clay in the hands of the potter (Isaiah 64:8). As God presses in us, as a lump of clay, it is because He loves us. This sounds scary, doesnt it?
Consider the opposite for a second. If He leaves us as a single lump of clay, then He doesnt love us.
His shaping and forming us is an expression of His love. We are being shaped into His image. If the clay goes untouched for too long it becomes hard and dry. What the creator does is place His hands in water to keep it moist and pliable. Jesus is the living water that keeps us from becoming dry.
We must learn to surrender to the truth in order to be shaped by God. This begins when we become increasingly more aware of what we are being formed into. We encounter His truth and love when we begin to see God as God. This shifts our focus off ourselves and towards God. The formation occurs as our sense of holiness is enhanced. When we accept the invitation into Gods presence, we begin to align ourselves with His purposes. A maturing vision of God shapes our character, as our heart becomes His very own.
- Read Hebrews 4:12. One way we allow scripture to come alive is through the art of meditating on it. Choose a verse that relates to your One Word. Throughout the upcoming week, be intentional about living out this passage. As you meditate on this scripture, reflect on the following questions: (1) How does this passage create a different lens to view my current circumstances? (2) What action is it calling me towards? (3) How can I experience what this passage says?
Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2010. If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal — log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!