“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2Co 3:18)
So I’ve been thinking about transformation a lot lately and how that comes about and how the ministry of the Word and of people and of the church enables or hinders that work of God’s Spirit.
First I think it’s important to realize that this is a work of the Spirit of God: “for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”. Programs are good, accountability groups and counseling is good, but the deep need in finding transformation is a deep need in depending upon and crying out to the Holy Spirit. For a church to believe and breathe this, it has to make central to it’s heartbeat the simple work of prayer. Effective fervent prayer instead of dynamic creative programs will portray how much this is believed. So as much I believe in strategic programming of ministry, I am learning that I need to be most strategic about leading people and making opportunity and preaching on and exemplifying prayer.
Second thought I have about transformation is that it can’t be hammered into people. It has to be seen by people. That is, if people want to be transformed into the image of Jesus, they have to see Jesus – see Him in His glory and His majesty and His sovereignty and His holiness and His power. This makes sense to me because the Spirit’s work is to “bear witness” (John 15:26) of Jesus. Seeing Jesus is of more importance than even practical application or impassioned exhortation. So what resonates in my heart is that central to every song worship echoing in the sanctuary, central to every ministry within the church, and central to every message preached from the pulpit is Christ-centeredness, Christ-exalting, Christ-worshiping clarity. There is place and purpose for practical exhortation ,but the OVERWHELMING experience and take-away has to be an awe and sense of “I met with God and I can’t believe I am alive”. When that happens week in and week out (as oppose to weekly tidbits on how I should live my life this week), then people will live God inspired lives that are radical, abandoned, subversive, faithful, and Christ-like. That in my opinion will be revival and awakening that will bring glory to His name.