WE ALL DESIRE to improve ourselves in one area or another. We may desire to be a better parent, a better spouse, a better employee, or just a better Christian.
Many of us have tried different ways to accomplish this. We’ve confessed scriptures, listened to sermons, and read books. We’ve attended seminars or talked to experts on whatever it is we want to change. All of these approaches have merit. But we often overlook one key element to godly change: spending time in the presence of God.
First Samuel 10:6 (NKJV) says, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” The Spirit of God can and will come upon you and change you into a new person.
As you spend time in the presence of the Lord, the Spirit of God can transform you into a new person.
By reading and studying God’s Word, anyone can know about God. But ONLY BY SPENDING TIME IN HIS PRESENCE CAN WE GET TO KNOW GOD. The difference is made in our approach to hearing His Word. Let me explain.
Romans 12:1–2 (NKJV) says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
If you held a tennis ball in your hand and squeezed it, the shape of the ball would conform to the shape of your hand. But as you released the pressure, the ball would immediately revert to its original shape.
That is how many believers act toward the Word of God. Whenever they read a book, listen to a recorded message, or hear a sermon, they say, “Amen,” and agree with what is being said. They may even agree that they need to make a change in their lives. However, when they leave that meeting or put down that book, the pressure is off, and they go back to life the way it was. What they’ve heard or read has made no difference.
Now, if you held a ball of Play-Doh in that same hand and squeezed, the ball would take on the shape of your hand. But this time as you released the pressure, you would find that the ball had been transformed into the shape of your hand, and it would hold that shape. In much the same way, as you spend time in the presence of the Lord, the Spirit of God can transform you into a new person. So choose to go beyond seeing what needs to be changed, and become as clay (or Play-Doh) in the hands of the Great Potter.
If we as Christians merely conform to the Word preached, taught, or read, all we are doing is reacting to pressure. This indicates that we need to develop a closer relationship with the Father. That’s because the truth of God’s Word in the hands of someone who doesn’t know Him can be a dangerous weapon. TO KNOW ABOUT GOD WITHOUT A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM WILL CAUSE US TO MISHANDLE HIS WORD. And that will damage us and those around us.
However, when we spend time in God’s presence, we come to know Him and develop an intimate relationship with Him. Then whenever we hear His Word, it will become alive to us and make a lasting impression. It will transform us.
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