To become disciples that God desires — who think and act like Jesus — we must be whole. The process of becoming whole, or sanctified, is ongoing, this side of heaven. God is never finished with us, but how much we want to become like Him is our choice. Spiritual transformation and growth requires change throughout our entire lives. The problem is that most people don’t change until they have to – until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of being different. As humans, we have a natural tendency to do life our own way, apart from God (see Romans 3:23; Isaiah 61:6). Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
In trying to do life our own way, we have all experienced hurt from choices we made or from choices others made that affected us. We all have hurts, habits, or hang-ups because we are human, and this reality often limits our ability to connect with God. Some of us are living with pain or regret from a past hurt or failure that keeps us from growing to be more like Christ. But, God never wastes a hurt! He says that our past does not define us and that He will heal us (see Hebrews 12:1; Philippians 3:13, 14; Isaiah 43:18). Some of us have habits in the present that rob us of our ability to be used effectively today for God — Jesus says he will set you free (Jeremiah 6:14; 30:17; John 8:32). Many of us, are worried about the future and that fear of the future paralyzes us from stepping out in faith — the Holy Spirit says He will give us comfort and peace. Our only hope for a chance at healing, wholeness, transformation, or recovery in this life is the redemptive power of Christ, a result of God’s grace through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Recovery was God’s idea and a biblical prescription for how we become more like Christ. To be “recovered” means that we are healthy and not stuck. God is in the business of recovering people to Himself (see 2 Cor. 5:17-19ff). We all possess free will and a sin nature that does not go away at salvation (see Romans 7:15ff). But when we choose to do life God’s way, His grace sets us free from the control of the flesh and the Holy Spirit empowers us to live godly lives. That is something to celebrate! Now we have choice; whereas without Christ, we were hopeless and forever stuck!
As we continue to embark on the Jesus Experiment, we’re learning to feel, think, speak, and act using the same principles for spiritual growth that Jesus did. These healing principles, if you choose to integrate them into your life, will help you become more Christ-like in character, to think and act more like Jesus. God wants to set you free and use you in a powerful way for His glory. Will you let Him? It will take engaging wholeheartedly, some courageous honesty, and an attitude of desperation for God’s grace, but it can be done! He has done it for others and He will do it for you, if you choose to let Him.
Blessings, Pastor Travis
Originally shared October 7, 2010 TW