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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Transformation - 3

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

“Spiritual formation…refers to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ” (Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart). The last two blogs, of which this is the third part, have been about formation and transformation, about God expanding our capacity to know him while removing hindrances so that our hearts can mature and thrive. He doesn’t just meet us as Savior, he comes to make us fully alive so that we live in his abundance and become like him (Jn. 10:10).

When our souls are fully alive and thriving, Ronald Rolheiser (The Holy Longing) suggests that two things happen within. “First, it must put some fire in our veins, keep us energized…full of hope as we sense that life is, ultimately, beautiful and worth living. Whenever this breaks down in us, something is wrong with our souls. Second, a healthy soul has to keep us fixed together. It has to continually give us a sense of who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and what sense there is in all of this.” Indeed!

There is already within us a whole center, where Christ dwells, and it is from that complete and whole place that His life will radiate up through us into every part of our soul allowing that energizing fire to keep us alight (Col. 2:10). We will also know our true identity, being flooded with hope and his empowering presence. This makes spiritual formation possible. But it takes a lifetime of pursuing God to become who we really are in Christ. This is what our transformation is about; it’s a choice to be free rather than just to be safe, a choice to drop our defenses and choose his light.

We all need vision for who we can become in him, and not only eyes to see but also a deep hunger to want to grow more and more in union with him. And we need to understand his promise from Lamentations 2:14, that although he “exposes our iniquity” it is so that we will be “restored from our captivity” into beautiful freedom and growth.

There is no magic formula here; we have to cooperate and exert our moral effort alongside his enabling grace. In faith we listen to him and obey, our souls moving toward him. As we ask the Lord he will help us recognize old patterns and make choices to grow in the grace of establishing new ways. By this our transformation moves along and we find that our inner being is truly beginning to look like Jesus.

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