We all want to make an impact for Jesus in this world. It is a mark of the true disciple. Perhaps you’ve been discouraged by your lack of effectiveness in making a difference for Christ. You wonder what is keeping you from doing more. I think Frank Viola has hit on one possibility. He said, “Our impact for Christ on others will be limited by our own personal transformation.”
No matter how sincere our desire or intent, we will never exceed our own transformation into the image of Christ. We will never be able to replicate that which we have not yet duplicated. In other words, our impact will be limited by how much our own lives look like that of Jesus.
Personal transformation occurs when we let go of everything in our lives that is not of Christ. The more tightly we cling to things of this world the less we will resemble the beauty of Jesus. I am coming to understand my own personal transformation into the image of Christ will never be what it is meant to be until I trust Him fully in every area of my life. Surrender is not too difficult for me. Obedience I can handle. But trust? It’s where the rubber hits the road; it’s where surrender and obedience intersect and become real in our lives.
As a personal example, I have no issues surrendering my possessions to His use. I do not struggle in being obedient in regard to using my resources to give to those in need. But do I trust God enough to walk away from everything He has provided? Do I trust Him to provide for my needs when I have no idea from where the next paycheck will come? It is here I am still a work in progress. Perhaps you don’t share this struggle, but I know there are other areas in your life where you struggle to trust, surrender, or obey. I know this because we are all humans infected by sin. Satan is at work each day trying to impede our personal transformation into the image of Christ.
We must understand as long as we have these shortcomings in our own walk with Christ, they will limit the impact we can have for Him on others. Again, we will never exceed the limits of our own personal transformation. The key to making a bigger impact for Christ is to be further transformed into His image.
What is holding you back? What is serving as the lid to your personal transformation? This is the area Satan is most likely to attack, and the one we must take to the feet of Jesus and implore Him for help. This is the area we must use the power of Christ to demolish. It is the stronghold that must be torn down. If you want to have the impact you were designed to make in this life, you’re going to have to overcome the limits of your own personal transformation. You are going to have to go further and deeper than you’ve gone before. It will take relentless pursuit, unwavering commitment, and an absolute reliance on the power of God’s spirit to finish the work He has begun in you. Don’t allow the shallowness of your own personal transformation to derail the impact you were designed to have on this world. Press on and never stop seeking after the kingdom of God and His righteousness.