For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. I Corinthians 4:20.
We can talk a lot about Jesus and spiritual formation, but the question is: how much transformation is occuring in our lives? Does our talk far surpass our Christ-like being and practice? God is not concerned with all of my talk and writing. God is not concerned with all of the Church’s talk and writing. He is concerned that I love him and become more like him (Romans 8:29), that his bride, the Church, love him–that she be transformed from a harlot into a loving and beautiful and faithful wife.
A couple of months ago, I was in a conversation with two people, a pastor and an elder. Both expressed doubts about whether much tranformation takes place in the Christian life. They said that they saw very little evidence of tranformation within themselves and those around them. I agree that if we look at the Church and even ourselves, we can be discouraged by the lack of transformation. Or at least, we might be discouraged by the pace of sanctification and transformation. But then I remember Exodus 23:30 “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” God promised to drive out the inhabitants of the land “little by little.” Transformation can occur daily. We can daily move forward, even if just a little, in the Christ life. Almost all decisions and thoughts (I am not talking about whether we should wear a blue or red shirt type of decisions) allow us to choose between life and death. If we give into our fleshly inclinations or temptations–death. If through the power of the Holy Spirit we choose to do and be what Christ would have us–life.
So here is a more pointed question, if we look over our life, if we reflect on our soul’s past, do we see that God’s power is at work as he little by little rids us of all within us that is not of him? Do we notice God giving us the grace to do things that aren’t natural? Are the fruits of the Spirit increasing, even if ever so slightly, in our life?
I will share some more along these lines tomorrow.