To follow God is to be flexible to do what God wants. We ought to practice God's character each day.
In order to grow and improve with God we will need new Godly knowledge and understanding. We can become willing to let go of our old ideas and expectations while creating new ones through practicing participation in Godly character. We can be different and feel different as we make different choices in our thoughts, attitude, and actions. God intends for us to be evolving into Christ-like identity. As believers, we have a new identity. We must be willing to see where we can grow or we won't. We ought to look each day toward how we can add God's grace. We ought to open our minds to God and the Holy Spirit within us. God's truth can be challenging, uncomfortable, specific, convicting, and guiding. Joy, peace, truth, freedom, and love often comes with our surrender to God's will, way, path, statutes, and grace.
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
True understanding comes by experience, not just reading (Please click on the Progressive Chrisitianity above and take time to understand it. Also, read the page that follows it. This information can be helpful toward faster transformational experience.)
Learn the process of Constructivism ~ http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/
"A reaction to didactic approaches such as behaviorism and programmed instruction, constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process." https://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Going to church, reading the bible, and spending time around Christians are only transforming when those doing it are taking in new knowledge in agreement with God and then putting it into practice. Once a new understanding is in place it will be followed up by new action. Otherwise we hear new information suggesting change and then decide not to accept it. We hear things every day that seem to go in one ear and out the other with little to no affect. What good is it to understand a better way of living with no action or accommodation of it into our thinking? We hear the word, then deceive ourselves, and do nothing.
Memorization of scripture
Ever try to memorize a scripture verse? If not, try it now. Take 1 minute of practice and then wait five minutes while doing something else (distraction) and see if you can recall it perfectly.
Try Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
Memorization of verses are an important practice to many Christians, but how many of us doing it accommodate the meaning of the verse into our beliefs? Do you understand Romans 7:15? Can you easily explain it to a ten year old? Do you know the purpose of it? We are called to know it in our heart. We are not called to have the faith of "I think so." We ought to seek to know completely. If we don't know we ought to seek to know. Knowing completely with whole heart, mind, soul, and strength is the kind of transformation God desires. Our faith is to be like Abraham's. Anything short of Abraham's faith is doubt. Doubt is not the kind of faith God desires for us. So let us practice reading the bible in a way where we can 'know' what it means. Let us always remember the counselor/Spirit is within us and the word is written in our hearts. Learning is a process of gaining new understanding while correcting mistakes within our current understanding. The best way of learning often times is through testing, and evaluating our experiences. As we experience the commands of God, observe and evaluate what happens, we can then make adjustment to understanding and beliefs. Memorization of scripture is good for sharing statements, but to know what they mean and applying it our lives is good for demonstration of the word.
Transforming Thought and Activity
Honesty: When we receive information that contradicts our beliefs we can instinctively become defensive. We can react to protect what our current understanding. We are called to test the truth, especially our own truth to align with God's truth, and to be objective and fair at the expense of our sin. We must be willing to see where we might be wrong in our thinking, behavior, attitude, and beliefs. We will always be imperfect and so will our beliefs. Yet we are encouraged to continue our faith, walk in obedience, and grow in God's grace. Our thoughts will need continuous modification, regulation, and adjustment. Rigidity, stiff necked, and harden hearts are poison toward our soul. We ought to be seeking humility for willingness to grow spiritually. We ought to always remain students, listening, following, and obeying God's amazing instructions, laws, precepts, statutes, and commands. Spiritual truth lies within our humble servitude toward God. We ought to avoid dishonesty, deceitfulness, false flattery, selfish ambition, and white lies. These are not of God's grace.
Love: This is God and part of the greatest commandment and a necessary component for everything spiritual. We ought to grow in it with intention and commitment. It is to be the highest priority we have in everything we do! Love is an experience of intimacy and an action assisting the Spirit of God or God's Righteousness. It is something we sense as we engage in it. God's love has little to do with taking from others, but instead participating with other people gracefully. Through our unselfish giving and expecting nothing in return as a regular occurrence in our lives we may engage in God's love. We move away from selfish thought, what we can get from others, and toward how we can help the Spirit of God in others and ourselves. We know we are taken care of so long as we take care of and obey God's will, building God's kingdom. When we stop to think about our own wants, expectations, entitlements, and desires we step out of God's protection and care.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?"
Confession: Keeping negative thoughts and feelings hidden inside us diminishes our capacity to serve God and be useful to anyone. It distracts us from Godly principles and interferes with love. Who can love peacefully while harboring anger or worrying fearfully? We ought to bring it to light. When we confess we are humbled, right sized, and such humility can open us up for healing provided we are willing to let go of it. Resentment, fear, selfishness, and dishonesty are always damaging toward our spirit, our soul, and our usefulness to others. Such damaging thoughts and feelings ought to be brought to God and discussed with mentors, Spiritual brothers, and Spiritual sisters.
Repentance: We ought to turn toward God and then move toward God's principles and character. We grow in God's principles by putting them into practice through Daily Development Activity. We ought to increase in these principles knowing we will never be perfect nor finished. Yet we may continuously improve our current condition and more importantly to God, better God's kingdom. It may be an ungodly decision to refuse or postpone cooperation with God for the sake of selfish thinking. To choose not to grow and give ourselves over to the development of God's character because, "we can't be perfect," means we refuse to help build God's kingdom for our sinful comfort. Sinful comfort fools us to avoid suffering for God. Suffering for God can heal our emptiness, loneliness, and rid us of our negative inward condition.
Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Patience: There is a lot to understand concerning transformation and the characteristics of God. Learning to better understand our inward authority is an invaluable essential experience in transformation. As we engage differently with new Godly character we can experience Godly change. We ought to seek out new Godly activity each day. We can take small steps with easy achievable goals and practice new understanding.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Courage: In the process of looking inward we may uncover feelings of anger, fear, shame, or sadness. Facing ourselves in honest examination we increase our awareness of underlying thoughts and feelings we may have otherwise avoided. Our beliefs and what we are accustomed to may resist change; We ought to do it anyway. We ought to do what God instructs and trust God instead of ourselves. This can be done in pieces or small steps. We ought to have faith in God's commands, to love him and others. This is a trial and error learning experience as we piece together a new understanding which more closely relates to God's path. We ought to humbly engage in a knew way of living by the Spirit of God which resides within us. When we do something new we make mistakes, but this is part of our progression in God's grace. So let us go and make mistakes understanding that God opposes the proud, stiff necked, and hard hearted. Let's embrace God's calling to be God's humble servants. Facing our errors and making Godly corrections despite our fear and discomfort is Spiritual courage.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Desire: Without desire for an affect, it may be likely not to happen. If do not desire change toward God's grace, we may be desiring not to have it. Our level of effort much of the time has to do with the level of our desire. Willingness for God with an open mind for change can make all the difference. We ought to not only desire God, but love him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. If our minds and hearts are not automatically set on God then that speaks to our level of desire.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Most of us are very aware of our bank accounts. We have strong desire to maintain our toys, self image, and self-seeking pleasures. We may even be placing our thoughts on an upcoming weekend, holiday, or promotion. We seek out self-gratification. Yet God wants us to place our thoughts on him and the grace he has to offer. We are to choose our fate. We have been given a choice. Our jobs and money ought to be a resource to help us grow God's kingdom. We have the right to ignore or refuse God's grace and too often we do just that. We are entitled to refuse obedience to God, love, and salvation. We are all sinners. When we can better understand the beauty and power behind God's grace it can increase our desire to participate in it. Yet we must first decide to participate in that grace to understand it's goodness, righteousness, beauty, peace, and love in order to taste it and desire it more.
The Choice of Life or Death
11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”