A great passage on the importance of spiritual formation is found towards the end of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterful novel, The Brothers Karamazov.
One of the Karamazov brothers, Dmitry, is in prison, about to be sentenced for years of hard labour in Siberia for a murder he didn’t commit. At some point between his arrest and trial he found God, and gave his life to Jesus. And in prison awaiting trial he says to his brother Alyosha:
Brother, during these last two months I have a felt a new man in myself, a new man has been resurrected within me! He was imprisoned within me, but he would never have appeared had it not been for this lightning bolt. I am afraid! Oh, what do I care if I have to chip out ore in the mines for twenty years with a hammer – of that I am not afraid at all; no, it is something else I am afraid of now: that the resurrected man may leave me!
For Dmitry, who used to be so ruled by whichever passion temporarily held sway in his life, his greatest desire is now to continue to walk in this new path that God has given him. In his own life Dmitry has become a resurrected man, utterly transformed from the old man he used to be, and all because he met with the Resurrected Man, Jesus. Anything in life can now be faced, even any suffering and injustice, provided the resurrected man remains.
Have you changed to become the resurrected man (or the resurrected woman) in your life? Have you met with the Resurrected Man? His presence transforms everything, and makes all other concerns pale away.
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.