March 07, 2009

Transformation-continual Growth

1 Samuel 10:1-11

The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power … and you will be changed …
1 Samuel 10:6


Transformation means change, but not all change is transformation. Some people change jobs, towns, and friends at the first sign of serious difficulty. But our deep-seated problems follow us around if all we do is change our circumstances.

Others change only when they are influenced by a momentary feeling. I have known people who quit smoking when they felt like it but started again when old cravings resurfaced. I have counseled people who desired spiritual growth but only opened the Bible and prayed when they felt especially spiritual.

In contrast to these scenarios, change must be continual and consistent to be effective. Our Bible passage for today relates an early scene from Saul’s life. When he was anointed king, Saul began to change. The Spirit of God took hold of his life, and the people around him knew that something special was happening. They saw this transformation and recognized him as their king. But it was not a consistent change. Saul disobeyed God. He stepped over the limits of his authority and refused to let God’s transformation of his personality continue.

You might look back to a time years ago when you really grew as a Christian. But that’s not enough. God desires continual, consistent growth. Christ calls us to keep growing every day.

Lord, our progress in the faith is often minimal. Our spiritual growth is inconsistent. May our spiritual fervor increase and may our love for you be renewed each day. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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