For Jesus, Good Friday was that moment it all came down to this. He had to choose between following the plan prepared from Him from the beginning of the world or forsaking it. Jesus chose to follow the plan. When He did, the battle between good and evil commenced. Evil tried to conquer Jesus with force. But, Jesus conquered evil by submitting himself to it. Just as Jesus, in all of His goodness, submitted himself unto evil we are now able, in all of our evilness, to submit ourselves unto His goodness.
When God transforms our soul we shift from being a sheep that follows Jesus to being a shepherd like Jesus. As a sheep, our priority is for our own spiritual condition. As a shepherd, we become responsible for the spiritual condition of others. Throughout the Scriptures, when God’s people have been in a spiritual crisis He has always called for more shepherds. This is why when Jesus told the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15: 1-7), he began with the assumption that each of us are shepherds. As shepherds, there are sheep in our life that we are responsible for. In this sermon, we will discover together how to identify our sheep and how to shepherd them.
When God transforms our soul, we will shift from asking God for answers to listening for His promises. In the Gospel of Luke, there is a clear shift in discipleship between those who ask and those who listen. Jesus uses a key phrase to make this distinction: “whoever has ears to hear let them hear.” If we only listen to God for answers to our problems we will never hear the voice of God. But when we listen to God for His promises we will discover that God is always speaking.
When God transforms our soul, we shift from being a consumer to being a steward. The number one symptom of every consumer is an inadequacy. When we do not have enough of something we are left wanting. When we are left wanting we are suspectible to becoming a consumer. God has a habit of never starting with enough. When we learn to give to God our inadequacy (stewardship) we will discover that God will bless it according to his riches and we will have more left over than what we started with.
When God transforms our soul, He also transforms our sight. In this sermon, the question we asked was not a question of blindness, “Can we see?” but rather a question of sight, “What do we see?” In 2 Corinthians 4:18, the Apostle Paul tells us we can fix our eyes in such a way that we are able to see the unseen. In Jesus’ own words, the unseen is a like lamp that placed on a stand. It is available to all those who enter in. Once we see the unseen, we can never unsee it. In fact, we soon learn that the unseen is present everywhere in the seen world. When we learn to live by this unseen reality, the unseen become the dimension by which we see everything else in this world. “Open our eyes our Lord, we want to see Jesus!”
When God transforms our souls, we will shift from being a slave of God to being a child of God. This SoulShift centers on love. Love has the power to lure us and the power to enslave us. Once we have experienced God’s deep love for us, we can feel a sense of obligation and expectation to reciprocate that love. The story of Luke 7: 36-50 displays two characters; one that commits acts out of love and the other that has lost his love. When we shift from slave to child, we shift from walking in God’s love for us to walking in a deep love for Him.
SoulShift is a series of how God wants to transform our lives. The key is knowing when to shift and what to shift to. In this sermon, we learn that a transformed life happens beyond the forgiveness of our hearts and the repentance of our thoughts. It happens with the transformation of the soul. It a transformed soul that keeps our heart from a desire to sin. It is a transformed soul that causes the default thought of our mind to begin with God. This transformation of the soul happens through a series of shifts. In this first shift, we discovered that when God transforms our soul, we will shift from the mirror of me to the lens of you.
Good character is a preview of the narrative that is to come. Sometimes we focus more on the preview than we do the narrative itself. In other words, we can have godly characteristics without actually possessing the character of God. Other time we focus so much on who God is that we fail to properly develop our character as a preview to who He is. The story of Joseph in Genesis 39 is a guide for us to have a good character that previews the narrative that is to come. In this sermon, we discuss stages of character growth and how God’s narrative has to be the developing factor.