So, what does a changed life look like? I’m reminded about when Moses ascends the hill of the Lord, and after spending a period of time in His presence, he returns to the people of Israel and needs to veil his face as He is literally glowing with the presence of God. (see Exodus 34 vs 29-35). When we truly encounter God, we are changed.
God’s character is so vast and wonderful, and can’t be limited to a few paragraphs on a blog, so I’ll just try and put down some of the things that I think represent a life of worship that has been transformed by the presence of God.
I love that piece of scripture that talks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5 vs 22-23 says:
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.”
I like to use these verses as an indicator of how much my life is being filled with and transformed by the Holy Spirit. Quite often, my spiritual fruit is either not there or has become rotten due to neglect. If I’m annoyed about something and shouting or losing my temper (especially when England are playing rugby, although on a separate note, I’m pleased to say that we beat Wales, Ireland and Scotland in this year’s Six Nations Rugby Championship), then I know there’s a lack of patience, peace, gentleness and self-control, which shows me that my life isn’t being fully controlled by the Holy Spirit. I’ll always come back to the fundamental truth that I am saved by believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins, but God is wanting our lives to be transformed into His likeness so that His grace and mercy might be seen by and extended to others, so that they might be saved as well.
I remember someone teaching me about the Tabernacle, which was used by the Israelites as a portable temple while they were fleeing to the Promised Land from Egypt. The Tabernacle itself was surrounded by an outer wall that consisted of a series of identical posts that held-up fine linen curtains, to create a division between the outside world and the inner courtyard area that housed the Tabernacle. These posts were identical, and if you came into contact with one post, and then moved from this post to the next post, and then to the next post along, eventually you would arrive at the entrance, where you would then have access to the inner courtyard and the Tabernacle itself that housed the Ark of the Covenant where the presence of God resided.
The key point here is that Christians are like those posts that form the outer structure. Where we are encountering God and living lifestyles of worship, we are being transformed into the image of Christ. When a non-believer comes into contact with one of these “posts” (i.e. Christians), and then comes into contact with another, and another, and sees the same authentic, consistent Christ-like characteristics being exhibited, they will eventually be drawn to the entrance and a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
We have the ultimate example of what a changed life should look like in Jesus. The more time we spend with Him, worshipping and adoring Him for who He is and what He has done, the more we will become like Him.
My prayer is that we will all continue on this journey of living lifestyles of worship, where we are filled and transformed by encountering God in every aspect of our lives, so that others might see the same Christ living in each of us and be drawn to the One who saves.