› Reformation: Transformation for a Generation
You are God’s beloved child. He does not love you with a fragile human love, but with His divine love, and so seeks your highest good at all times. He has demonstrated this love in all that He has given you. He has shown you His mercy and forgiveness, His grace and power in giving you the gift of His salvation. He has placed you in Christ Jesus so that all the blessings of His life now belong to you. You have become a co-heir with Christ and have received the fullness of His life. His Spirit of love and power is given to you as one who believes in Him.
In response to all this you received a high calling: to be a disciple of Jesus, His Spirit will work within you to transform you increasingly into His likeness from one degree of glory to another. You will become more like Him in both character and action, living to please Him and to be a faithful witness both to others who know their Lord and to those who know nothing of Him.
Such a high calling is very different from simply attending a series of services and being faithful in performing certain religious duties!
God clearly has great expectations of His children: to walk as Jesus did and to do the same things as He did; to love others in the same way in which He has loved us. Perhaps many wish that He did not have such great desires and expectations of His people!
If we are honest we all see how readily we fall short of such a life-style. If we look at the corporate life of the Churches to which we belong we can see that much is lacking in what God intends for the Body of Christ. Aware of all these discrepancies it seems that there is a large credibility gap between what we perceive the Church to be in the New Testament and what we experience it to be today! There is an equally wide divergence between what God intends for every believer, and the way in which most believers live!
Do we simply accept this as the sad reality, or do we believe that God wants to do something to remedy this situation?
God does not judge or condemn us for our failure to be the people He desires us to be, or to do the things He has made it possible for us to do! He continually looks upon us with His love, mercy and grace!
However, He wants every believer in every Church to be open to the process of reformation He wants to initiate at this time. First, we have to acknowledge our need of change, so that we fulfil God’s desire for us to become the people He has called us to be, living the lifestyle of His Kingdom here on earth. Then, having acknowledged our need, we have to come to the place of genuinely desiring the Lord to work in us in whatever ways are necessary to fulfil His will for us.
Reformation is a process of transformation that takes place in the lives of believers personally and in the Church corporately.
The changes that need to take place will be profound, but God is able to work in us what we could never do ourselves. He simply needs our willing co-operation with the reforming activity of His Spirit.
Every believer has to make his or her decision in response to the Lord. Each believer will either accept His will or will oppose His purposes, for the reformation needed in his or her life. Compromise is the enemy of reformation.
So there is to be no compromise in our response to God’s will to bring about the changes in our lives that will glorify Him! We will be either for His reformation purposes, or against them!
To love the Lord is to want His will for your life, and such love is expressed in being obedient to Him. To love Him is to desire to be more like Him, to be a faithful disciple who will bear much fruit for His glory by doing what He has called you to do in the power of His Spirit.
No believer could rightly say. “I do not want God’s will for my life. I do not want to live for Him with all my heart. I have no intention of obeying His commands or doing what pleases Him. I do not want the Holy Spirit to work in me to enable God’s purposes in my life.”
Anyone with such attitudes would certainly lack personal knowledge of who God is and of the great love that He has for His children. We love Him because He first loved us. The more you know His love for you, the greater will be your love for Him! The greater your willingness to embrace reformation in your life.
Jesus does not want anyone to accept a lower level than this high calling, and He is ready to do in God’s children whatever is necessary to enable them to fulfil His best desires for them. Living to please Him enables them not only to experience His highest good, but also to know the fullness of His joy!
Before the joy there is bound to be conflict as the Lord confronts us with the things that grieve Him, and so undermine His purposes for us as His children. As we submit to Him, so those areas of conflict will be resolved.
It will take a whole generation for God’s Church to experience reformation in the way He desires. But the process starts NOW!