“Journeying toward Change”
In our journey we must create margin in our souls for God to come in and take over. God wants room in our lives. He wants room to grow in us, but He will never take more than we are willing to give. God cannot fill us up if we do not give him room. This is called surrender.
Everything that is growing is changing. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18). Growing and changing go hand in hand. In fact, change is the evidence of growth and growth is the evidence that we are His (2 Peter 1:8-9).
“God wants to turn our experiences into experience”- Tom McDaniels.
We must stop trying to manipulate God with our emotions, it won’t work! We must stop saying, “Boy do I have a deal for you God” with our lives, and start letting God deal with everything about our lives. We must stop trying to sell God on our will and giving God room to implant His will and His way into our hearts and minds.
We will grow spiritually based on the amount of room we give Him to grow us, and the more we know and trust Him the more room we give Him.
“God wants to deliver us by taking us out, through and into” –Tom McDaniels.
The breakthroughs in life occur for those who know and trust God enough to allow Him to take us out (deliver us), through (deal with the issues keeping us from knowing and trusting Him more closely), and into (His power and presence) the life He wants us to have in Him.
God is the God of breakthrough! Pastor Tom has often said; breakthroughs occur for people who walk through what needs to be broken off their lives.
-Warning- Like Pastor Tom always says; It is easier to act like a Christian than to react like one. It is easier to mimic what we see than it is to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us or change us to be like Christ through faith. It is easier to base our lives on feelings and emotions than it is to wholeheartedly trust God.
“Feelings won’t take you anywhere, and spiritually they will most often keep you from growing spiritually. – Pastor Thomas McDaniels.”
God wants us to have an active faith that moves us closer to Him and takes us deeper and farther than we have ever gone with Him before. He wants us to grow spiritually.
Spiritual Growth Stages:
1. Conversion (Where the Journey Begins)
We must make sure we have an authentic experience with Christ.
Genuine conversion begins in a heart and mind that says, “I am at the end of myself and I need Jesus!” It begins when we recognize that we are sinners who fall short of the glory of God, who have earned the wages of death, and who are completely destitute without God’s grace, mercy, love and forgiveness leading us to repentance. True conversion occurs form being born again of an incorruptible seed. It is where we have believed with a repentant heart and confessed with our mouth Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It is where a person has been crucified with Christ and one who no longer lives, but that Christ lives through us.
Genuine conversion is where one dies to the “old person” giving way to the “new person” born again through Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. True conversion is from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)! Therefore, one who is truly converted will have an inside out focus on life. They will tend to seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first. They will be geared more toward storing treasures in heaven, loving God with it all, and then loving others as themselves. In other words, it genuine conversion begins with the soul, moves outward through the spirit and then completely consumes the body.
Things about the genuinely converted will bring about change and adequately reflect to whom we belong. The Evidence-When one is genuinely converted they don’t like what is going on in their life when sin is actively present. Genuine conversion is the beginning of the journey.
False Conversion is from the outside in. It is a bad sign when our sin does not bother us, and it is a sure sign of a false conversion. The falsely converted will tend to live the “me first” life. They will do things for God, but they are always in it for self-gain or self-promotion. They will look for every opportunity to pad their wallet even if it takes compromise, deceit, and causing harm to others. The are the one that Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:15-20).”
2. Commitment (The Journey Refined)
Our commitment to God does not require our terms. It is to be based on God’s terms. Because of God’s love and passion for us He won’t grow us or move in our lives based on what we think, want, desire or demand. No, He requires an all or nothing deal. God wants us to give it all so that we can truly have it all in Him. God gave it all for us, and so He requires it all from us.
“We will never grow spiritually into the image of Christ by giving only part of ourselves”-Tom McDaniels.
A refined relationship with God comes when we allow Him the space He needs to refine us. Every refined commitment requires a refined decision! We will grow spiritually as we begin to give God the space to grow us.
“The best way to grow is to give everything you know”-Tom McDaniels
God wants space to take us out, through, and into what He desires for us.
When we give All to Him we will begin to see the character of God developed in our heart and lives.