True Color Transformation

“I am preparing My bride; the work cannot be rushed.”  When I asked God why some things are taking so long to change, both in the church and within me, this was His answer.  He told me that we are His living stones and His personal temple simultaneously, and that we need to be transformed, as the garden stone creatures in the C.S. Lewis story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Aslan breathes on them, transforming them from dead, hard, colorless stone into moving, breathing, vividly and colorfully alive beings, full of joy and praise.
“Finish then Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be; let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee.”  ~ Wesley
Becoming is a painful, painstaking process for the most part.  Whilst in the crucible of trials and troubles, one wonders why the fire must be so hot and take so long to do its job.  In The Problem of Pain, Lewis observes,  “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
~ Isaiah 48:10
We the church, particularly in the West, have been numb and asleep by idling in our comfort zones, our “tolerance”, our forgetfulness of the cost Jesus paid for our freedom and the call to reach out with His message of love and salvation.  For His salvation and sanctification, we have substituted cheap human effort, which consistently falls short of the mark.  We have believed in the lie of cheap law, that we can earn God’s favor and love.  These are dead works.  We can never keep God’s law; that is why Jesus had to come.  How can we live effective lives set apart for Him?
In the gospel of John, Jesus tells us: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
John 15: 1,2,4-5
We access Him through talking with Him, inviting Him to soften our hearts to hear what He is speaking to us in His Word, our times alone with Him, our times of true worship where we open our hearts in joyful vulnerability to Him, in daily feeding our souls on His Scriptures, and in reaching out to serve when, where, and how He shows us on a daily basis.
Only by being steeped in Him can we become who we are, with our true colors ever-enhanced by His transforming power.  We have the power to choose that every minute of every day.  And in the midst of that, we just might find that growth, {even though it usually is difficult} does not invariably have to be painful.
~ Denise Chambellan

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