Posted by: Terry | December 7, 2009

Spiritual Journey or Radical Transformation?

Over the last 10 years I have been on no less than 1000 flights, journeys from place to place. The journey begins by boarding a plane in one city and it ends when you depart the plane in another city.

The longest of these flights are usually from Los Angeles to Australia, 15 to 17 hours. You leave one country and journey to another, once you arrive in Australia the journey is over. While on the plane, on the journey, your mind may be anticipating your destination but you are not at your destination.

“Spiritual journey” is a ubiquitous phrase these days to describe searching for spiritual fulfillment; a quest for becoming all you can be, for getting in touch with your inner self, for finding the meaning of life. Some followers-of-Christ use the phrase to refer to the Christian life, but is there a better word? Journey subtly implies a spiritual quest, a seeking for something that you do not yet possess.

We are not on a journey to Christ; in fact “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13 ESV) We are off the plane and in a new kingdom; the quest is over, now we are to assimilate into the culture and values of our new country. We know the meaning and purpose of life, the search is over, now we are to become like Christ and abide in him, we are to be radically transformed into his likeness.

No longer is the follower on a journey, but is in the process of transformation. We are to transform how we think, we are transformed as we look at the Savior, and we are to look forward to the ultimate transformation when we take on a heavenly body. (Romans 12.2; 2 Cor. 3.18; Phil. 3.21)

Journey is not a bad word, and many Christians use it for the transformation process; yet in our present culture it conveys the idea that one is still seeking. I have stopped seeking; now my life is one of transforming how I think and how I live. How is your transformation going?

 

 

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Responses

  1. Thanks, Terry. Something to think about.

  2. You have stopped seeking, you write. You have found. I believe that, and respect it completely.

    Yet can you accept that there also may be Christians in process, genuinely, not merely in response to some spiritual trendiness? Who are not in the same sphere of certainty that you are in, yet feeling, stumbling their way more deeply into it with each passing year or decade?

    I think you’ll find such journeying and spiritual ambiguities in the writings of earlier Christians, many of whom we consider “saints” today. Whether a dark night of the soul, or feelings of inadequacy before Christ, or simply not certain–but in any case, still plodding forward in faith toward Christ.

    • Well the process of seeking is covered in the period I reffered to as the time while a person is developing a belief that results in conviction and confession. By definition a follower of Christ has decided that he is Lord and Messiah. In the passage in Romans 10 it is at the point of Belief and Confession that a person is saved, becomes a Christian, or true follower of Christ.

      Having that conviction does not preclude having “dark nights of the soul.” Feelings of inadequacy are common, but there is still the conviction that he is Lord and Messiah. The dark nights are just evidence that we are still in a frail state. In addition the struggles now are like growth pains as we mature in our understanding of what this new relationship demands and means.


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