Fall 2004 State of the University Address
Be Transformed continued
All of us go through seasons in God’s fire of transformation. Recently, Dr. Kevin Mannoia, chaplain for graduate programs/director of SoulQuest, and I spoke about the choices each of us make when faced with God’s plan for transformation. Kevin reminded me that God does not force Himself into the locked rooms of our lives – places and corners desperate for holy change, but places that we refuse to acknowledge before our loving Abba. Kevin’s contention (one with which I agree) is that the obedient Christ-follower who desires to be at the center of God’s plan must come every single day in self-revelation, handing God the keys to those dimly lit and locked rooms. If the primary act of courageous obedience is to stay in the fire, perhaps the second, nearly equal to the first, is the willingness to hand God the keys and throw open the doors that have been locked away from His transformational plan.
I am in my own season of transformation by fire. I, too, am learning that the locked rooms of selfishness or fear or pride or any number of sinful patterns must be brought into the light of His day. And just like God continues to work His transformation in my life, He has called you to Azusa Pacific to continue your own transformation.
Not just our own transformation; each one of us is also called to be used by Him as a tool of transformation in the lives of our students. Remember the witness cone? It is most accurate when placed right beside the pot being fired. The Holy Spirit-guided process of transformation in the lives of our students requires us to be close and available. If you doubt this, I challenge any of you to interview our science students, and see if they don’t think their rigorous classes are not akin to being in a fiery furnace! How many students do you know whose furnace is financial need, and our loving staff, through acts of service and truth-telling, are part of their transformation? What kind of transformation do you think has been occurring this week on the football field, soccer field, on the volleyball court, in choir rooms, with Alpha Leaders, and Multi-Ethnic Leaders? How many brand new freshmen will experience the transformational “aha” moment because Chip Anderson and Phil Shahbaz will unpack the truth that God has given them strengths? In every undergraduate, adult program, graduate, and doctoral class; every academic department, and every staff position, we are called by God to surrender ourselves and engage our students in the transforming work of God.
We are about the business of allowing God to transform us, allowing God to use us to transform our students, and through His Holy Spirit at work in us, our students and our alumni transform a lost world. As a daily reminder for me, Kevin loaned me a prayer of transformation. I would ask that you keep this prayer in your wallet or on your desk where it can be a daily reminder that God will not transform what we will not bring.
Follow this link (PDF) to download a PDF of the prayer of transformation.