“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

I often pray this psalm and encourage others to do so. As Christians, we often say prayers and sing worship songs about God defining us, wanting Him to refine our innermost parts, to change our hearts, and proclaiming that we have given our life to Jesus, surrendering it all.

These words are usually easier to say than to live out. Walking out the transformation process, where we increasingly follow Jesus into a missional life, is never easy. In the midst of it, we have to allow God to reveal our sins, our hang-ups and failures, and we must have the courage to accept these things about ourselves and God’s unconditional love for us in spite of our sins and hang-ups.

Jim Herrington explains it well: ”In the presence of the Holy Spirit, the experience of vulnerability and courage are the most important, powerful component of our transformation.”

God brings hope in our transformation and healing into every dark place, leading us into deeper intimacy with Him. He calls us into what could be, if we are obedient to His word and honest with our own words, thoughts and actions.

Are there areas of your life where you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to transform you? Are you willing to be honest with God, letting him clean out the junk in your life that has built up over time?

Spend time with Jesus this week, allowing Him to speak to your heart, heal your anxious thoughts, clean out the offenses and lead you into His everlasting presence.

Laura Nelmark serves as pastoral assistant at Lakes Area Vineyard Church in Park Rapids.