We invest resources in discipleship because we know this is our call. We really want to see meaningful Spiritual Transformation in our own heart, and in those who are around us: family, friends, community. So, we labor and work hard in preaching, teaching, sharing, being vulnerable, pursuing community, disciplining.
But… How do we know all this is working? How do we know if we are witnessing the work of God the Holy Spirit? How do we know is not just the result of human effort?
Here is how.
The question is not if we should look for evidence of a meaningful Spiritual Transformation taking place, but rather what is that evidence. The work of restoration of God the Holy Spirit does actually start in the heart, in the spiritual realm, but it is such that it is not limited to that part of our life. His work goes as far as the consequences of our sin can be found.
This includes every single aspect of our everyday life.
But, then… What metric do we use? Is there a universal result, a clear piece of evidence to know if He is there, working in us? If such a metric exists it should have these characteristics:
- There should be examples of it in Scripture.
- It should point to the fact the Yahweh is the only true living God, and not to human capacity.
- Its understanding and usage should be cultural-preferences independent.
We can find this metric, with these three characteristics in what the Bible calls humility. Humility comes from knowing – better and better – who you are, who He is and the work He is doing; all this knowledge provides the right point of reference for the human heart, regardless of cultural preferences.
Note that I said “better and better,” because this is an important element of Spiritual Transformation, i.e. discipleship, specially in a setting that is culturally diverse. It means that there will be ups and downs, that in this life we will never be totally humble. Discipleship is not a linear process, but rather a process that resembles an spiral.
It is a process we need to be at constantly.
A note for parents: This means we are never done raising our kids.
Don’t lose heart, do not give up.
Then, when we look for evidence of His work, How do we know humility is there? If we invest the resources at hand, How do we know we are witnessing the Spirit producing humility from within? Let me submit three questions to probe the depths of our real self, to find out.
Those questions are:
- Do you confess that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, and do you look forward with anticipation to the day when you will see Him face to face? (The Thief On The Cross Test)
- Do you aspire to fulfill the ministry / service God has called you to? (The First Timothy Test)
- Do you submit your will to His, despite your own cultural preferences, for His glory and the blessing of others? (The Gethsemane Test)
The intensity, assurance and conviction of the answers to these questions will vary, that is the nature of our constant struggle with our sin but, because of His Beauty, there will be evidence: a desire, an inclination, a tendency towards humility.
[*] Discipleship is a constant endeavor, more like an spiral than a straight line.
[*] He is faithful, and will provide evidence of His work of restoration in the human heart.
[*] Humility is the metric we can use as we constantly cultivate our hearts, and the hearts of those around us.
Worth of your Calendar, schedule time to consider this:
Think about the constant need of cultivating the human heart. Also, meditate on His faithfulness.
How does it all make you feel? Since His person and work is the starting point to face this life, How could you personally invest more time contemplating what makes Him Beautiful?
If you are a parent, How could you translate those three questions in terms your child would understand?
Schedule regular times to post these questions to yourself, and to those you are serving.
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity