I’ve been meditating on Colossians 1.28-29: “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” 

That last phrase about Christ’s power working within us stands out to me. God’s presence is within us, transforming us. Out of that transformation, we start embracing more of God’s values and heart and start acting in ways that more closely live out our connectedness with Christ. In this way, we experience Christ living both in and through us.

The transforming work of the Spirit working within us has implications about the outward manifestation.

That’s how transformation connects to mission: If we are being fully transformed, we will increasingly reflect God’s values. If we are not seeing that outward focus, we need to look inward to see if the transformation is truly happening. Sometimes there’s something short-circuiting the process. Our inner transformation—to be genuine—must impact the lives of others in a way that demonstrates God’s care. Otherwise, our inner spiritual transformation is truncated in some way.