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Dear Partner,

I don't know how to relate to people who are satisfied and complacent regarding their walk with God. It is like they reach a certain place and say, "This is enough. I want to settle down here for the rest of my life. I don't want to go on any further with God because that would require more change in my life." Listen to me. If the hunger for "More Of Him" dies, the "Fire" in your soul to serve Him also goes out! Complacency is an enemy we must all resist.

Every new horizon I attain to in God only makes me hungrier to know what is over the next horizon. The question is not "Do I want to change?" The question is always, "How do I change." I thank God for the day this verse became alive to me:

2 Cor 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Notice the words "are changed" right in the middle of that verse. Notice also that the change "from glory to glory," indicating that this transformation is a process, not a one-time event. The more we see of the Lord's glory "as in a glass" [mirror], the more we are changed into that SAME IMAGE! I know I know that sounds almost sacrilegious, yet this verse says it is the job of the Holy Spirit to change us into the same image as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!

Jesus is perfect. We are not. No wonder this transformation process of change will be a LIFE-LONG project for us. I can see no reason to stop and set up permanent campsites anywhere along the way, yet I have found myself languishing for weeks, and sometimes even months, at certain places along the path of transformation. Sometimes we simply get tired of the warfare. But thank God for "hunger" that never dies and for the "fire" that burns in my soul to see the Father's will done on this earth just like it is in heaven. I can never stay complacent and contented for long. I MUST see what God has for me over the next horizon.

In the beginning of this transformation process I saw that as I spent lots of time in the bible, in worship, and in prayer the Holy Spirit seemed to be primarily concentrating His transformation work on my intellect and my heart motivations. He was changing my heart to become more of a servant to the Father, just like Jesus has the heart of a servant to the Father. He was also changing the way I think. More and more, my rational mind was being transformed to believe that "All Things Are Possible!"

Most recently, however, I have noticed a distinct shift in the Holy Spirit's emphasis. I can tell He is also transforming my "emotions" to be changed into the same image as Christ's emotions. Let's take a close look at the following verse:

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This verse tells us that the way we are changed from the world's image to Christ's image is by the renewing of our mind. For years I thought that the word translated "mind" in this verse only referred to the intellect. But the Greek word used here means much more than that. Here is Vine's definition of the Greek word "nous" translated "mind" in the verse:

NOUS: The mind, the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, and those of feeling, judging and determining.

The part of us that is to be renewed encompasses more than mere intellect. It also includes the emotions, the arena of "feeling." Recently the Holy Spirit was dealing with me regarding a change in my life that would be necessary for me to enter into the next phase of ministry the Lord wanted me to accomplish. In visual terms, you could say it was the land over the next horizon. I could not go there without incorporating this certain change in my life. But to be perfectly honest, my "feelings" did not want to make this change. My emotions were all wrapped up in it. I had fond affection for the "campsite" where I had been for so long and my emotions were winning by resisting the Lord's promptings for me to go forward.

Then the Holy Spirit did an amazing thing. He took me in a vision to the throne room of heaven and I saw the Lord Himself. The Lord told me that He would not force me to make the change. It was up to me. He also told me that even if I chose not to make the change, when I died I would come to heaven and would have a good reward for the service I have rendered in His kingdom. Then He said, "But know this. I will have to draw back a curtain and show you the portion of My plan for your life that you did not fulfill because you chose not to make the change necessary to accomplish it."

I came out of the vision a changed man. The Holy Spirit had done a new thing in my life. He replaced my old emotions that had kept me camped out in complacency and replaced them with stronger emotions. The thought of standing there in front of Him who died for Me, as He pulls back a curtain and shows me where I have failed Him No, I cannot stand that. No, I will not stay here in this comfortable place. I will once more break camp and set out for the horizon. The Holy Spirit had done his job. My emotions had been transformed to one more degree of being like His when He said, "Not my will, but thine be done!"

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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