I can recall vividly my first experience in giving a sermon as a council member in my church. It took place in the 1970s. It was an evening gospel service on the topic of love, for around 30 to 40 congregation members.
Out of fear and nervousness, I prayed intensely as I prepared. The song I remember I sang contained the line, “Blessed dew of heaven, fall upon my thirsty soul.” As the message was being concluded, some people were screaming, speaking in tongues and coming under the strong influence of the Holy Spirit. What took place that day was the demonstration of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit—on me and on those who heard me.
The gospel we are called to preach has transformation as its goal. We as Christians are changed “from glory to glory” through the power of the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18, NKJV). Perhaps you have known, heard or read about people who were once notorious, terrible sinners but, at some point in their lives, encountered Christ and became faithful saints of God. An obvious example is Saul of Tarsus, recorded in Acts 8-9, a blasphemer, persecutor and chief sinner who obtained the mercy of God (1 Tim. 1:11-16).
We must never give up on our desire and resolve to see people come to Christ. All true Christians are to be agents of positive change, as Joseph was in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon.
The metaphors by which the Bible describes the Christian are a strong signal to us as to our responsibilities as transformation agents. We are light. We are salt. Light dispels darkness. Salt preserves. These are identities we must constantly bear and reflect if we are to have positive effect on our world.
Three Traits of Transformation Agents
The essential traits to accomplish this are as follows:
- Being in Christ. Being in Christ is to be with Christ. It is to abide in Christ and His Word (John 15:1-5). The early church and the disciples were recognized as having been with Jesus. We must always seek to be with Jesus, irrespective of other things that may be commanding our attention (Mark 10:38-42).
- Being filled with the Holy Spirit. Beyond the Holy Spirit, which we received at the point of salvation, we must be refilled (again and again) as the apostles were (Acts 4:31-33). We must crave for deeper and higher experience of the Holy Spirit. Cultivating regular, intimate friendship with the Holy Spirit is a necessity for us to be agents of transformation.
- Being a person of the Word. This involves having a strong desire for the Word—reading the Word, internalizing the Word, living for the Word and acting (obeying) the Word. The Word is life-giving (John 6:63); the Word is a mirror (Jas. 1:22-25); it is also a sword (Heb. 4:12).
Jesus Christ is coming soon. As we get ready for Him, we must get serious in occupying for Him. The power of transformation that we have experienced is not to be kept in the cupboard or shelves, but is to be transmitted to every dark spot in our communities so that we would all be instruments of bringing many sons to glory.
- Pray that the consciousness of the Holy Spirit as God’s power of transformation will be renewed in every Christian as they seek to influence their world for Christ.
- Pray for someone you know who needs to accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to do the work of conviction and conversion in the life of the person.
- Pray for grace for every believer to shun acts, character or behavior that undermine living as a true representative of Christ.
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