Our Living with God value has a third descriptor:
Living with Jesus is the way to becoming more like Jesus. In coming to Jesus, and becoming his disciples – his apprentices – we are committed to a process of change. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said ‘the call to discipleship is a call to change’. We cannot experience intimacy with God without changing. Or, at least to begin with, experiencing the strong desire to change. And if we are then to go on the process of authentic transformation so that we begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit and become more like Jesus, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to go right beneath the surface – to the tangled roots of our lives. Praying, reading the Bible, listening to sermons, working for God, trying to be good isn’t enough. We have to go on a journey of allowing the Holy Spirit to take away all the layers we have built up and let him get right into the core of us. We have to let him ‘unravel us’ – as he spoke prophetically to us in one of our recent prayer meetings.
This process of change is a work of the Spirit and theologians call it sanctification. One writer familiar to us has this to say about it:
Part of the sanctification process of the Holy Spirit is to strip away the false constructs we have accumulated and enable our true selves to emerge.”Peter Scazzero
As a church we are committed to a culture where this authentic change is encouraged and pursued. It requires honesty with ourselves, with God and with one another. It requires vulnerability. This is why we encourage everyone to do the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality course. It helps us to face the reality that our emotions are ‘the language of the soul’, and to be honest about those emotions so that we can honestly face the state of our own soul. Then, in the environment of God’s grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit, and each encouraging the other, we go on this journey of true change.
And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image2 Cor.3:18 (NLT)
Holy Spirit, thank you that you help us to change. Thank you that you don’t do a surface job but you change us deeply and genuinely from the inside out. You unravel us. We open up our hearts and lives to you and ask that you’d help us, and that we would help one another, as we continue this journey of change. Amen