It’s been said “change is the currency of the Kingdom of God”. One thing we can count on as active followers of Jesus is constant inner change, or growth. Obedience to Jesus’ commands is true discipleship. It is through obedience we experience the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit”. The Spirit teaches us about Jesus, enabling us to see the very personal and present “face of God” and all His beauty and perfection. i.e. His glory. Beholding that, we become his reflection, in measure, in this world. In process and over time we are inwardly changed to be more like Him.

Needless to say, deep inner change can be very uncomfortable as our values and fears are confronted. But God gives us courage and grace to meet these challenges.

A basic understanding of our design function, calling, purposes and various resources can help our mental state and resolve as we face these changes. The deep assurance afforded us through the cross of Christ and the faithfulness of our Father to His promises can provide the emotional bracing needed to cross the threshold of fear to faith and into the new and living way of the kingdom of God.

It is a courageous act to trust God in conflict.

One could say,” Why not choose a more comfortable path? After all God loves me unconditionally. He will forgive me even if I disobey “ . While these declarations may be true to some extent, they reveal a very faulty motive in the heart. They reveal an independent, unsubmitted heart. It is these very motives that the Spirit is working to change. Such presumption puts the Lord to the test. Not wise!

Conversely, there is a huge upside to submitting to the work of change by the Spirit. The full weight of God’s mighty power is directed to our support and success, for in this we find ourselves abiding in His will. John 15: 7 says ”If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”. Prayer from pure and perfected motive is extremely effective! From this same posture, the Kingdoms power breaks into this darkened world and effects a measure of healing and justice. This is the exciting, full abundant life Jesus promised to us.

This week, with rather broad brush strokes, we will encourage one another  with some reminders of who we are and what we are called to. We will consider our responsibilities to the larger community as we lovingly “provoke one another to love and good deeds.”