Reformed Eve is a daughter of God, which makes her royalty - no matter what the world throws at her. She straightens her crown quite often.
My Progressive Path To Being More Like Christ
I have understood, over time, that I need to address several areas in my life in regards to my personal spiritualformation. Spiritual formation is an area I need to investigate more, and I will add characterformation to this as well.For a person to become one with spiritual formation, having a good character has to be partof one’s existence.
How does one build character? The Bible has a perfect response to thisquestion. Paul the apostle said that “we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know thatsuffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does notdisappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he hasgiven us.” (Romans 5:3-5) For character formation to occur, we have to understand that this onlytakes place when we truly understand grace and sanctification. As a Christian, I want to be drivenby the Holy Spirit, and less by the flesh and earthly influences. This means that I am purposelyneeding to choose to be more like Christ every day. Being able to have a personal testimony ofsanctification is a guide that will take me down the path to character formation.The only way I can develop character is through the grace of God and the Holy Spirit’s power.
Walking within the realm of sanctification, or the path to holiness will help me becomemore Christ-like by encouraging me to develop righteous character traits that are holy, true, andgood. I have to understand that the sufferings in my life have a purpose and that if I fine-tune theHoly Spirit by meditating on the Bible every day, I will be more easily able to discern themessages and blessings that tribulations can and do bring into my life. Sanctification happens inthree stages. It exists in the past, present, and future. 1
I have to understand that while I am technically holy, as a Christian, due to existing in Christ. I am free from sin’s penalty. In regards tothe future, someday I will be released from all presence of sin, as the good work influenced by Godwill come to fruition. In the meantime, I am living in the present sense known as progressivesanctification, and this is another term for spiritual formation. In this essence, I must understandthat the Holy Spirit is participating, actively, within me to make me continually holy and help mewriggle free from the strong grasp of sin and temptation. 2
God has provided me with threef orefront disciplines, and all exist within the spiritual realm. As mentioned, there exists the HolySpirit, His people, and the Word of God. 3 I want my example, and good works, to not be a meansto try to obtain grace, as many would have it, rather, I want the light of God to shine through me. Iwant his grace to have an effect that changes and transforms lives, and bring them closer to Christ.I can only do this by making the word of God a priority in my life, and by meditating upon it. Iplan on using the Abide app to help guide my spiritual and mental meditation and peace.
I discovered that reading the bible with a formational approach would be appropriate. This approach is known as Lectio Divina, and it emphasizes reading the Bible, meditating upon it, praying after reading, and then contemplating what just occurred. 4 This helps to not just focus on facts and figures, but toalso realize how great God truly is, and how He’s moving in my life.
A piece of advice I would give to someone trying to enter the realm of seminary is to beopen in regards to making friends. It’s important to be surrounded by good company, especially if that company is walking with Christ. “Two are better than one, because they have a good rewardfor their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he fallsand has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can onekeep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstandhim—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) This scripture beautifullyoutlines what true friendship looks like.
I offer this advice, as I have a very difficult time makingfriends, as I have had to uproot my life several times due to family members being in the military.While engaging in seminary, or ministry, one will be exposed to people of all walks of life. Somany different theological viewpoints will be respected. Some will mesh with yours, and somemay even seem conflicting. Seminary offers a wonderful opportunity to let the Holy Spirit guideyou in how to blueprint a dialogue that is respectful, friendly, and informative.
Since we arehuman, we are quick to judge others, especially via appearances. If someone comes from a lesser-known school, one may quickly dismiss this person’s education and ideals. This would be a hugeerror as one could have made a great friend. “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and thesweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9) While I am morecomfortable being a lonely butterfly at times, God doesn’t want this. He wants me, and you, tobreak out of what’s comfortable and get used to different.