Transformation of the spirit, in great part, occurs in utmost private—inside the cave of our deepest selves.  Christlikeness is formed in the “us” times no one sees, as we think our thoughts, make our decisions, chart our paths.  It’s an “inside job”, performed by the Holy Spirit of the living God in cooperation with us as we say “yes” to His working.  It is the silent child birthed in quietness.

 

            So few of us make room for Christ to birth himself in us.  We find it easier to attend to outer matters like church, devotions, Christian service, Bible studies, even witnessing for Christ.  But all these good things are mere manifestations of the desires of a transformed heart, and easily become empty husks of performance without the waterfall of life from God to back them up.  There must be a balance between doing for Christ, and becoming like Him.  Oh, to be like Him!

 

            Performance draws from our bank of inner resources which must be refueled regularly or we become stale offerings and empty gas tanks asking “Where do I go to quit?”  We have run out of rope—of spiritual lifeline to replenish us at our source.

 

            Most of us seem to know what’s expected of us in the way of serving God, and do it well.  Some of us discover and will admit to an emptiness in the midst of service and thrash around to understand what could be wrong.  A few, are learning to turn to God alone for regular, extended hours of quietness to recharge the inner spirit and open the choked pathway to their heart.

 

            Extended times alone with God—30 min, half days, a weekend.  They give God a chance to move up close and personal.  These times allow Him to speak and give us time to listen.  They move aside the extra furniture in our hearts, and make a clearing where two can become one and soul time can occur.  Quiet hours alone with God open space in our souls where lasting transformation can occur as we realize, we surrender, we repent, we change course, we listen.  Most of the time we don’t leave time for anything much to happen permanently in our hearts.  It’s too easy to skim across the top of the page and call it good. 

 

            But God.  But Christ.  But a savior who stakes a cross-shaped claim  on our lives and stands eternally at attention looking for an invitation to intimacy with our hearts.  He first loved us, and loves us still and will continue always to pursue our hearts before, during, and after salvation.  Salvation is only our beginning—the first lap of a long race.  Salvation is beyond us and yet exactly what we long to believe.  At the same time, we (all of us) tend to keep running faster and faster rather than brake for love or slow down for joy.  This need not be.

 

            If spiritual transformation occurs as we meet God and gladly allow Him to form our whole selves, can’t we choose to create stop and slow signs in our lives and devise delightful ways and means to spend quality time in reflective silence and prayer?  The very desire for quietness is a call from Christ himself and an honor and a grand goodness that He hasn’t forgotten us.  Deep calls to deep.  Love seeks out the beloved.  And beloved we are, and beloved we will be.

 

            It takes quietness to become like Christ.  It takes couch time and a date day or days with the lover of our souls to know Him well and to become more like Him.  In quietness we see Him as He is, and it is glory.

 

            Quietness is a soft highway to the heart of God—a comfortable place where we can go beyond “How are you” to “This is how I am.”  It’s a birthing place for love to come to full fruit in our lives as He speaks through His word or through the still small voice.  Quietness is a becoming place where our spirits more freely knit with God’s, and where we move steadily forward as Christ is formed in us.

 

            Becoming is the active process of spiritual change which occurs when we place ourselves before God, palms up, eager to receive whatever He longs to give.  It is a pleasure and a grace and a joy and a gift.  Becoming is not something we do, but a spiritual forming that happens when we’re not looking.  It’s a work of God whose part it is to form us even as it is our part to present ourselves for formation.  “A human-divine cooperative” some call it.  We come.  He acts.  We offer.  He takes.  We repent.  He forgives.  Oh Lamb of God we come, to become.

 

Written and shared with permission by my sweet mentor and author Linda Andersen

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Comments:

letsg...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:49 PM  I voted this popular because it is by far, hands down, what its all about in this crazy frenetic world of doers vs becomers.  Its a matter of choosing Gods best over what is merely good. Thanks for sharing.

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LilMs...
Jun. 4, 2008 at 6:29 PM great post and so true. I recently started to truely understand the importance of "quiet times". You have to talk to someone often to recognize their voice...espicially when so many other voices scream louder in your life.

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