What is the main catalyst for change in your life? The reality is that we are all changing but we might just not be aware of it. Life is never just neutral. We are always changing. So, how are we changing and what are we becoming? Have you ever taken some time to think about what really influences you? What is forming your thoughts and how you see the world? These catalysts are what are determining what we are becoming. If we are not intentional about evaluating the catalysts for change in our life than we are subject to the culture around us and how it is changing and we just go along with the flow. So, if we are constantly changing it is critical that we know what is changing us and that we have a healthy biblical process of reforming.
Jesus makes an interesting statement in Matthew 9:16-17; “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
We have to always be evaluating our wineskin. It must always be reforming to hold this ever-expanding joyful blessing of the Gospel as it grows in our heart. The Christian faith is most alive when it is in the process of reforming. We need to constantly heed Romans 12:1-2 and make sure that it is the Word of God which is reforming us and not culture. That said though, we need to be always thinking about the Word in light of our cultural context. For all the great reformers it was biblical truth that reformed them out of a cultural Christianity that had drifted from historic Christianity. It was not some new insight into the Word that had not been held to by historic Christians. If we are not engaged in this kind of reforming we will fall into traditionalism and dead faith. However, if we are led more by cultural situations and start to be conformed to them then we run the risk of being conformed to culture rather than transformed by the Word through the Holy Spirit. So, reforming is when the Word through the Holy Spirit transforms us so as to bring new life to our unique cultural situation.
Here are some important questions we should be asking as the Church and as individuals:
Are we conforming to culture or reforming by the Word of God?
Are we holding on too tightly to old perspectives and traditions of Church?
What are the new ways of doing church that will bless our unique cultural situation?
Are we experiencing fresh revelation from God’s Word that is birthing new expressions of faith?
Are we more driven by playing it safe or by making a lasting impact?
So, reforming is when the Word through the Holy Spirit transforms us so as to bring new life to our unique cultural situation.