I picked up Audrey from her day care yesterday and driving home, I was in the left hand lane waiting, when it appeared there weren’t any cars coming–except for the huge truck that was turning left from the opposite way. Audrey spoke up, saying, “You can go now!”
But her vision was blocked by that huge truck. There was actually a truck coming behind it toward us and if I’d turned we might have collided.
I thought about how our human vision is blocked and only God can see all that’s happening–the oncoming trucks.
I’m reading Dallas Willard’s book, “Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ.” It’s personally a call for holiness for me and also a great resource for (hopefully) the book we’ll be writing called “Heart Change.” It’s about holiness through spiritual transformation.
Spiritual Formation is a big important concept right now amongst Christians–and of course, has been a concept for hundreds of years. Thankfully, there’s a big interest in it now also, because it’s at the core of how we become like Christ.
One of Dr. Willard’s main points (and how to do it) is that we all have already been “formed” through the experiences of life and how we responded to them–and what we concluded about life, God, ourselves and others, through those responses. And now as Christians, we need to be “re-formed.”
He writes, “The most despicable as well as the most admirable of persons have had a spiritual formation.” (pg 19). In other words, both Hitler and Mother Theresa had spiritual formation. Their souls, spirits, wills, minds, and feelings were “formed.” You and I have been “formed.”
Then later, Dr. Willard identifies that we, as Christians, as called to “spiritual formation (or, really, reformation)” (pg 30) or transformation.
In a way, you could say we need to “un-formed.” We need to be un-formed from our previous views, perceptions, assumptions, ideas, images, perspectives, and feelings, INTO the way God views, perceives, assumes, thinks, imagines, and feels. This is sanctification.
The connection to waiting to see what’s behind the truck? Well, I admit, it’s still a little vague to me. But just as Audrey had to release control and wait until I turned, we need to trust God, release control, and believe He knows better. Then we can more and more be re-formed about what God values. Audrey could have grabbed the steering wheel and put her food onto the accelerator but that would be dangerous. Yet, isn’t that what I do with God and isn’t that when I’m staying in my old formative ideas, perceptions, etc?
God knows everything. If I trust Him, my mind, heart, will, soul, spirit, etc. will be re-formed more and more. Because, really, holiness is primarily rooted in our ability to trust God.