Change. How do you fully accomplish holy change? (See the post King of Change located under May 2018) Well, True Life Christians won’t fully accomplish that until our physical bodies are no more. Our first step is accomplished here on earth, and that happens when you and I realize our need for a Holy Rescuer, Jesus Christ. However, it does not end there as we have to go through this physical life before we ever have to think about life outside of the physical.
Chapter 12 deals with that. On page 217, “Inside Out” starts off,
How far inside you have to look? Once we agree an inside look is necessary for deep change, we enter the mouth of a dark cave that tunnels off in endless, uncharted directions.
By this time, Dr. Larry Crabb expects that you are a Christian because none of the people in the whole earth would take on the mantra of “Blessing through Painful Change” as he writes in the 2nd-3rd paragraphs,
We could spend a lifetime exploring the winding caverns of our soul and never come out to see the sunlight. … Although an inside look can be overwhelming …, still there must be more to it than a journey into darkness. We are children of the light. Even in the midst of darkness, we know where we are headed. We have a lamp that always reveals the next step and a hope that keeps us moving … Christians are not characterized by joyless confusion and morbid despair… (pg. 217)
Remember the temptation of Jesus found in the gospels Matthew and Luke (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 41-30)? Jesus Christ was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil. He endured many more temptations during His 40 day fast from the devil; however, these 3 were one of the toughest. Think about it. Even though you know how it’s going to turn out, Jesus must have taken a different look at it because now He was subject to the temptations through His physical body. Yet, no sin was committed by Jesus making 1 Peter 2:21 take on new meaning-
For this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you may walk in His steps. (ESV)
But something has gone wrong with this plan. When Paul sets out to demonstrate our need for the gospel, he describes people as so determined to their own design that God has given them over to themselves (Romans 1:24, 26, 28). Three times, he reports, God gave them over to the inevitable consequences of insisting that they figure out life on their own. (page 225)
People say, “I want to see proof.”. Well, on page 231, Dr. Larry Crabb states:
When Tony came to Christ, there was a definite change. He felt less antagonism toward his home life and made concerted efforts to treat his parents more kindly. Sensing a real desire to know more about the Bible and to serve God, he switched to a Christian college and soon he decided to some kind of full-time ministry.
When Tony came to Christ, there was a definite change. … (page 231)
To close out the chapter, Dr. Larry Crabb says,
Two weeks after that discussion, I saw Tony. He walked up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “… My time in Scripture has recently focused on the strength of Christ in my weakness and on the role of suffering in making me more like our Lord. I am trembling a little, but I’m really looking forward to what God wants to do with me. It’s exciting. I’ve never felt more alive.” (pg. 234)
That’s faith in Jesus Christ in action. But not to many of us have that kind of faith. “The more sure you are for something to happen the more confident you are,” we think. However, that is not the case with the followers of Jesus. He seems to do the opposite, making His followers trust Him more by staying close to Him.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)
Click on these links to hear songs about faith: