2 Cor. 5:17
Relationships are often a journey. Our relationship with God is no different. The beginning of a new relationship with Jesus is often filled with excitement and faith. The love of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit is new and precious. As God becomes our primary relationship, our life is shaken up, re-arranged, and shifted. Changes in our outer life occur for two reasons. The first is an outward change that an expression of the transformation that has occurred in our hearts. The fact that we are a new creation in Christ is manifested in our lives. The other change is made in effort. We change our lifestyle to align it to the Biblical Christian example. Like changing habits or clothing styles for a girl or boyfriend, these changes are dependent upon relationship. In time, as a level of comfort and familiarity comes into the relationship, these changes often regress. Instead of hanging the towel on the rack, it is left on the bathroom floor. The effort required to change our natural behavior can only be sustained in a state of pursuit and passion.
Both forms of change are beneficial, and we should always passionately pursue the Lord and His precious Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the only change that lasts is the change that comes from transformation. Unless the changes we start in effort truly become who we are, they stay in effort and in our own human strength. When strength fails, who we are in Christ remains. In the desert, alone, amidst hunger and physical weakness, Jesus resisted the devil to the end. Circumstances could not change His identity. Our identity in Christ is one of perfection. We have not been given a Spirit of fear, or weakness, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. As we accept the identity of Christ, all areas of our life change to manifest this new identity. It is a lasting change that is not maintained by effort, but rests in the identity of Jesus. May your life reflect the transformational power and identity of Jesus more each day!