We often focus on outward changes for the New Year; exercise, diet, quitting smoking, spending less, etc. But how many of us continue these transformative efforts throughout the year. The problem lies with what’s underneath. We cannot achieve outward behavior change without changing our heart.
If we hope to tackle self improvement that leads to lifelong transformation we much do it God’s way. Here are three simple steps to gaining an understanding of what needs to change in your life to really get the changes you desire.
1. Ask God what HE wants you to do this year. Only the Holy Spirit can lead you to an understanding of what changes need you need to make to transform your inner heart. Ask god how he plans to work in your life. What resolutions do you think he’d have you make.
And we all, with unveiled face, 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 Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 – ESV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12, ESV)
2. Become like our teacher fully trained in Jesus ways. To achieve inner transformation we must participle in his training program. What does this training program include? We are to get to know our teacher intimately, learn to pray his will through study of scripture, practice of disciplines, serving and loving.
Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. (Luke 6:40, NLT)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)
3. Reflective and honest self-evaluation. Don’t be self-deceived; be willing to discover the truth. True transformation is internal. Before changing your behavior you must deal with destructive thoughts, attitudes and desires.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8, ESV)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Follow God’s ways toward transformation and you’ll discover what truly needs reformed in your life.