Our faith can parallel closely to our physical health. What we do in the physical to take care of our bodies – how we eat and exercise – can easily be compared to how we care for ourselves spiritually.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “ Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Paul knew the strict training it would take for him to win the prize. He had been in the race long enough to know the weather wasn't perfect and trekking up the hill - though rewarding at the top - was a climb in the middle. He didn’t take his process of transformation lightly and neither should we. The process of transformation isn't something to be feared or avoided, it's something to be welcomed. It's hard and unknown and beautiful and life changing - all at the same time.
God will do the impossible through us. He will partner with us to change and impact the world around us, but not before He does the impossible in us. He cares far more about what happens inside of us, than what is unfolding on the outside.
Our journey to bigger, is dependent upon our commitment to the process because bigger is not found on the outside, it is formed on the inside.
“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will,”
Metamorphoo is the Greek word for transformation. It means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. “To go on being continually transfigured (more and more, day by day).”
God is highly relational and He desires to heal and redeem even the deepest parts of us. When our walls come down it’s His opportunity to venture where He hasn't been invited before. As we allow Him into the mess, trusting His promise is to restore, we are surrendering to the process of transformation.
Often times staying surrendered to the spiritual process of transformation is the hardest part. Have you ever cleaned out your basement? Hours and hours of digging, unpacking and throwing away things you didn't remember you even had. It's so easy to walk away and leave the unfinished work as it is. No one comes to the basement anyways. The work is hard, it's sometimes done between cobwebs and on cold, concrete floors, but in the end you have a much nicer space.
A while back I ran the Flying Pig, a half marathon here in Cincinnati. I’ve run it before but this time it was different. My body was not cooperating like it had in the past. When I say that to most people, they laugh and say welcome to getting older. I refused to accept my age as a restricter of my limitations. I was determined to complete the 13.1 miles faster than the previous years and we were right on pace to run our fastest race yet. Then we hit mile seven and started our three mile trek uphill. We slowed our pace to adjust to the incline difference but my body ached. By the time I reached mile ten, I thought my hips were breaking. There was so much pressure beating down with each step. With just three more miles to go, I knew would be a mental game. I could run 13.1 miles. I had the endurance and I had the will. I simply had to keep my body in check with my mind and stay committed. My mind had to be stronger than my body was weak. One stride at a time my feet hit the pavement and came back up again. I used the momentum of going down hill to rest from working so hard and for the last mile, I dug as deep as I could and crossed the finish line in a little over two hours, faster than I had run it in the previous three years. Not much faster, but considering my struggle, I will take whatever I can get!
Letting God do a work in you isn’t easy. If He is the potter and you are the clay, the process of molding and shaping can be rather intense. However, the more we resist the longer it takes. Sometimes I pray to surrender quickly so as to not waste time resisting what I know I will eventually yield my will to in the long run. I want what He wants. I know He has the best plan. I know only He knows the way. I choose Him, His ways, His plan and it shows when I commit to my process of transformation.
Where are you struggling in the process? How are you coping with your struggle? Do you see the importance of your spiritual transformation?He's no doubt working on you, God is always working. He has so much ahead for you, but getting to those new places of breakthrough is the product of transformation. Will you trust Him as He works?