By Jerry Weinzierl
Every one of us desires to improve himself in one area or another. You may desire to be a better parent, a better spouse, a better employee, or just a better Christian.
As many believers have, you may have confessed scriptures, listened to sermons, read books, attended seminars, or talked to experts on whatever it is you want to change. While all of these approaches have merit, you may have overlooked a key element to godly change: spending time in the presence of God.
First Samuel 10:6 says, “And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” The Spirit of God can and will come upon you and change you into a new person.
By reading and studying God’s Word, you can know about God. But only by spending time in His presence can you get to know God. The difference is made in your approach to hearing the Word of God. Let me explain.
Romans 12:1–2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
If you held a tennis ball in your hand and squeezed it, the shape of the ball would conform to the shape of your hand. But as you released the pressure, the ball would immediately restore back to its original shape. That is how many believers act toward the Word of God: Whenever they read a book, listen to a tape, or hear a sermon, they say, “Amen,” and agree with what is being said and may even agree that they need to make a change in their lives. However, when they leave that meeting or put down that book, the pressure is off, and they go back to life the way it was. No difference is made.
Now, if you held a ball of Play-Doh in that same hand and squeezed, the ball would take on the shape of your hand. But this time as you released the pressure, you’d find that the ball had been transformed into the shape of your hand, and it would hold that shape. In much the same way, spending time in the presence of the Lord allows the Spirit of God to transform you into a new person. So choose to go beyond seeing what needs to be changed. Become as clay (or Play-Doh) in the hands of the Great Potter.
If you merely conform to the Word preached, taught, or read, all you are doing is reacting to pressure. This indicates that you need to develop a closer relationship with the Father, because the truth of God’s Word in the hands of someone without an intimate relationship with Him can be a dangerous weapon. If you have knowledge about God without a relationship with Him, it will cause you to mishandle the Word causing damage to yourself and those around you.
However, if you come to know God and have an intimate relationship with Him by spending time in His Presence, then whenever you hear the Word of God, it will become alive to you and make a lasting impression on you. Then, the Word of God will transform you.
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