renewal by the holy spirit

"delight in truth & you'll want what is right" // joel ansett // 

Often it can be easy to think that we are doing okay. We create a checklist of what a good person does and we somehow manipulate & twist & justify ourselves enough to where we can check off each item and find ourselves good. 

But then we peak into our thoughts. We lift up the box we've used to cover our desires and we see just how wretched & broken & evil we are. We are all hard-hearted, foolish beasts wanting to glorify ourselves instead of the rightful One who is worthy, aren't we?

We all feast our thoughts, our affections, our longings ultimately on ourselves, on satisfying ourselves, on enjoying ourselves. Left to ourselves that is all we are: pleasure seeking people & that pleasure is for ourselves. I was praising the Lord for his character this morning. Walking around thanking him for how pure he is. All that he is is pure. Purity is not something God has but purity is God, God is purity. Are we? Even our good intentions are usually motivated by wanting to look good in another's eyes, gain something, obtain glory.

So how do we change? How can we transform our beastly, dis-honoring minds & hearts? 

We can't

but hallelujah that the Lord has made it possible! by the working of the Holy Spirit our pride can be humbled to receive the Gospel, to feast on what is good & pure & honorable. 

John Piper said that "transformation is a profound, blood-bought, Spirit-wrought change from the inside out." What is he saying here? He is saying that transformation isn't a simple thing. You can't read a self-help book and by the time you finish the last page you suddenly aren't continuing in poor habits, thinking pure thoughts, living for the Lord. Transformation is a work of the Spirit---it is ultimately completely apart from us. 

As we read Scripture we pray that the Lord renews our mind---and Scripture has the power to renew our sick mind---but it is only when the Holy Spirit enables us to understand, to fully consume, to apply this Scripture & truth. So we must look to Jesus, we must "consider Jesus," and delight in him & in his truth & purity, but we also must lean, pray, cry out for the Holy Spirit to be at work so that our time in Scripture, our time beholding the Lord, our time meditating on his goodness is fruitful. 

Let us delight in truth, feast on the gospel & the goodness of the Lord & pray fervently for the Holy Spirit to work to renew & transform. 

"and we all, with unveiled faces, BEHOLDING THE GLORY OF THE LORD, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. FOR THIS COMES FROM THE SPIRIT, who is the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18