Renovation of Our Heart / Soul ~ blog
Yesterday I read this paragraph in Dallas Willard’s book Renovation of the Heart – Putting on the Character of Christ;
“…the greatest need you and I have the greatest need of collective humanity is renovation of our heart that spiritual place within us from which outlook, choices. and actions come has been formed by a world away from God now it must be transformed.”
I believe that many people who struggle with addictions are looking for answers but knocking on the wrong doors. We see that sexual sin has the capacity to destroy our lives and so we repent, make promises we cannot or will not keep. Only to find that the battle still rages and the harder we try to stop the harder we find it is to stop.
We have been talking about our soul and how it is such a vital, perhaps even the most vital thing we have. We are body, soul, and spirit. So much of our time and energy goes to care for our bodily needs yet it is our soul and spirit that are eternal. Does it not make sense that we need to realign our priorities?
Our soul has everything to do with what we are feeling each day. Being frightened on the outside could be a momentary thing. Someone jumps out of the shadows and yells boo and you have an immediate reaction of being frightened. However, fear can settle into your soul and cause you to lead a dark and troubled life.
Laughter is a bodily response to something we see or hear that “tickles our funny bone.” Many people who are stressed out over Covid-19 and other issues in life try and escape into entertainment. This is why Amazon Prime and Netflix are booming businesses right now.
“Viewership of the streaming service has soared since shelter-in-place orders swept the country in March. In April, Netflix NFLX, +0.31% reported the addition of a record 15.77 million paid subscribers globally in the first quarter — double the new subscribers it expected — propelling its stock price more than 65% higher.”
Entertainment is not a solution…it is an escape. It literally means to “hold the mind” which is what good entertainment will do.”
However, you can be entertaining yourself to death and not feel any better once the lights go out. However, what we are all really searching for is joy. Joy is something we feel in our souls. Which begs the question…
How do I make my soul joyful?
If my acting out with porn and or sex is because of the emptiness or fear I feel in my soul…how can I change that? The answer is both simple yet profound. It sounds easy but most fall short of achieving it because it takes the one thing we do not want to give it … TIME!
Dallas Williard in the quote above tells us that much of what we think, do, and say is because our outlook, choices, and actions have been formed by the world in which we live and are part of a world system that is not only away from God but actually against God. And because we have lived in this world and allowed it to affect us, and still do, that there is only one solution that the New Testament tells us.
In a word that is what the Bible refers to as TRANSFORMATION.
The life we have been living and the culture surrounding us has formed the ways we think, the actions we do, and the thoughts we have. Since February the entire world has been thinking about one thing more than ever before. Covid-19. The Coronavirus. Unimaginable suffering and death sweeping the globe in this Pandemic.
This is not a pretty picture. This is the reality as of yesterday of the number of new cases PER DAY!!! 169,508 new cases yesterday.
I cannot change what is happening in THE world…but I can change what is happening in MY world. In spite of all that is happening right now, all around me, I can have peace, hope, and joy. How? How is that possible???
It is because deep in my soul I know God is in control. Because for the past 15+ years I have been doing what I need to do on a daily basis to be filled with and walking in the Spirit. And as I have been doing that, not perfectly but in the vast majority of my days…I am seeing the Holy Spirit transforming me. He is bearing His “Fruit” in my soul.
Dallas Willard hits the nail on the head when he writes that since we have been formed by the world around us…we need the antidote of being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Now here is the good news. If you are a believer in Christ. If you have been born again by the Spirit…then the Spirit dwells inside of your body. You have been sealed with the Spirit as we are told in Ephesians 1:13-14. Jesus said it is better for us that He left so that He would send the Spirit, which He has done, and His Spirit now dwells inside of us and will remain there forever.
How about turning off the TV and putting down your remote. Reaching your hands up to your Heavenly Father and surrendering yourself to Him…DAILY. Ask the Spirit to fill you…DAILY. Asking the Spirit to walk with you…DAILY. And putting on the Full Armor of God…DAILY.
And as we do this consistently the Holy Spirit will begin to transform us and we will begin to see His fruit growing in our soul.