If God’s love could only comfort us in our weakness and could not transform us to live in his glory, it would not be enough. Thankfully, learning to live in his love puts us in the place to see our world through his eyes. Love and truth coupled together is what fuels his transformation in us and helps us navigate this fallen world in his joy and peace.
I grew up believing that the Bible showed us the way to live. We needed to study it, interpret it, and apply it to our lives. Doing so would allow us to live in God’s glory. Only later did I find that process doesn’t work. While it pressures us to act better, it ultimately collapses because our freedom doesn’t come from within. We will either end up blaming God for not doing his part or shaming ourselves for not trying hard enough.
The Bible was meant to introduce us to Jesus and to show us God’s reality that will make sense of the universe and our lives in it. Jesus is the one who prepared the way for us to be at home in his Father’s love and sent his Spirit to guide us into all God’s truth. Our participation in the relationship that Father, Son, and Spirit share together will slowly transform us by showing us what is real and not real in the circumstances we face and the thoughts we have. Transformational love is how God invites us into his freedom and equips us to be agents of his glory in a broken world.
That does not diminish my appreciation for the Bible. It does show us God’s reality and wisdom but unless he is working that out inside us there is no way to follow all the truth it reveals. Jesus said that we don’t live by bread alone but by “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Paul in Galatians 3 points out that God doesn’t work in us by human effort but by “believing what we hear.” Instead of conforming our lives to a set of expectations, we actually get to live inside his love and learn to recognize how he reveals himself in us. As we believe what he shows us we’ll discover what it is to live in his life.
Over the last year, I’ve been working on a better way to help people understand how this process happens and how to cooperate with God to bring lasting change in their lives. I had the chance to share some of this with a group near Baltimore last weekend and ended up using a towel and some paper plates scattered about the floor. I had never tried it this way before and just as I was getting started a little dog came in and started scrunching up my towel. That’s when I realized there was a better way to use that towel and we all had a good laugh at the dog’s contribution.
I’m not sure the best way to share this with a wider audience just yet. I don’t know if there’s a book here, a video series, or if we can talk about it on the podcast. I’m excited for the opportunities to explore this process with people to see if it helps them understand how God transforms us without turning it in to some kind of formula. I hope it helps them relax enough into the process that they can participate more freely with him. If we do, we’ll find our trust growing as will our capacity and awareness to love others. That’s where we will find all the joy, peace, abundance, and fulfillment that Jesus promised us. The few times I have shared it I was grateful that it spawned just the kind of encouragement and conversation that I hoped for.
Later this month, I’m going to share it with a group in Bradenton, FL, New Port Richey, and in Miami, FL and perhaps it will come up in other places I visit as well. You can hear me talk about this a bit in the video below, which I prepared as a promo for that conversation with Hope4Life in Miami.
If you want to join us, please see their announcement below. At the bottom right is a Zoom ID number if you want to join me live that day.
I haven’t been this excited about a resource to help people since Embracing His Glory, and this does involve a further extension of that material.
Other Notes of Interest
For those in their 20s and 30s there’s still space available for you to join Kyle and me December 3-5 in Westcliffe, CO for a gathering to celebrate and pray for what God is doing in this age group. We are looking forward to encouraging each other and listening to God together to see how he’s engaging a new generation. You can get all the details here or register here.
Also, for those interested, I had a great conversation with the guys at Next Level Method Podcast that was recorded this past September. It dropped today. You can hear it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast or watch it on YouTube.