How does transformation actually occur? Many of us long for it but do we actually know how it happens. After years of discipling and counselling people through the process of transformation, I believe it happens best in 3 spheres.
Call to Personal Obedience – Often we are quick to try and resolve external circumstances rather than dealing with root causes. This is merely a band-aid attempt to deal with symptoms rather than the underlying issue in our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Guard your heart, for out of it flow the springs of life.’ Change is more than a white-knuckled attempt to take responsibility for external circumstances. A complete change of heart is required. One of the first steps to a change of heart is answering the call to obey the Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our personal relationship with God.
Call to living in a community of grace and truth – This is where the church comes in. A healthy church isn’t just marked by acceptance and affirmation but accountability. Jesus came not just in grace but in truth (Jn 1:14). Grace only isn’t complete without truth. We must speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). It’s only when we confront the truth about ourselves in a grace filled environment that change is made possible.
Call to a lifestyle of reflection – This third sphere is characterised by daily spiritual disciplines. These include prayer, fasting, solitude, worship, bible study, reading, silence and journalling. Guard against compartmentalising your spiritual life from the rest of your life. A Grecian mechanistic worldview isolates reflection to a ‘quiet time’ but God is central to everything in life, not peripheral to the busyness of our lives. Do you have a prayer time or a life of prayer? There’s a big difference.
All 3 of these transformation spheres need to be held in tension with each other for deep personal change to occur. To the degree we are personally transformed will be the degree to which those we serve are transformed.