Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
This last Sunday, my wife and I were given a gift from our friends in North Africa, a small, simple traditional wooden spoon hand carved from the wood of an olive tree from the region there. It is beautiful and entirely unique because of the one of a kind wood grain and design that only existed with the wood of that particular tree. Like fingerprints, there are no two wood grains exactly alike. The shape of the spoon might not be entirely unique, but everything else about it is truly one of a kind.
There is a process of formation for anything and everything that is. Nothing just appears out of nothing, it is formed. Things take shape over time. Mountains are formed, bread is formed, trees are formed, flowers are formed, fruit is formed and people are formed. Genesis 2:7 speaks of how man came to be:
Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
And the Psalmist writes how every person alive is formed by God:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Not only are we formed by God, but we are created in the image of God. How incredible to consider the reality of that truth!
Yet what we also know is that there is another shaping force on our lives and that is the shaping force of sin. Sin has a way of twisting our thoughts and actions, enticing us to do what we know is not what God wants for us, and leaves a mark, a stain, the scarred lines of destructive behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and experiences that affect all of us.
In the Pixelated series we are in on the weekends, we have been connecting regularly to the truth of Romans 8:28, “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” But how does he do this?
Like the spoon which began as raw wood that is shaped into something of purpose for the intent of the wood carver, when we submit our lives to Christ, we invite him to do a shaping work on our lives as well. The Apostle Paul encouraged his readers, and us today, to submit ourselves to this work when he wrote,
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
The transformation of a gnarly, twisted and weathered piece of North African Olive tree wood did not happen according to the will of the tree, nor did it happen in the wild naturally. I happened in the hands of the wood carver. We are formed, when by faith we place ourselves regularly in the hands of the master craftsman, Jesus Christ, and allow him to shape us according to his will.
Make time and take time daily to be fully present with him, and allow him to transform you as you renew your mind with Godly thinking through active time with him.