When we make the choice to be transformed and to live a life that accomplishes the will of God, it is the greatest compliment we can give to the Lord and His Word. Preaching is nothing but entertainment if it doesn’t change us. Too often we enjoy the presentation of the Word but do not give worth to its superiority because we refuse to apply it.
Sometimes we judge the value of a message by its entertainment quality and even though we feel it is God given, too many times we do not have a strategy to implement that Word in our daily life. Application should trump presentation for every believer.
There is a principle taught in Hebrews 4:2 that we must recognize. For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard. In order for the Word to cause transformation in our lives it must be mixed with faith. As Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.” It is time to build the NEW.
It is important to note that the Word will either transform us or it will judge us. When the Word transforms us, our mind is renewed, we receive a better perspective, and it helps us to bring our thoughts into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. When the Word is preached, faith is ignited. When truth is embraced we are freed from the past, our chains, and our present bondage and are now free to pursue our destiny. John Maxwell said, “We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”
As Acts 26:18 promises, this truth will, ….open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
If we reject the Word it will stand against us in judgment. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48).
Whether the Word changes us or judges us is a choice we make. The Word is always going to accomplish God’s will. It is up to me and it is up to you if we are going to benefit from it. I must be determined to rejoice in my rebukes, learn to heed divine warnings, and receive correction with gladness. Remember, the Bible is firm and stern in its warning of our tendency to be stubborn and stiff-necked. He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).
God’s word will be fulfilled one way or the other. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). Those who are out of shape mentally usually fall victim to ideas and systems that are destructive to the human spirit and to human relationships. They are vulnerable because they have not been taught how to think, nor have they set themselves to the life-long pursuit of the growth of the mind. Not having the facility of a strong mind, they grow dependent upon the thoughts and opinions of others. Rather than deal with ideas and issues, they reduce themselves to lives full of rules, regulations, and programs (Gordon MacDonald).
Transformation is elevation; it is advancement, and restoration which is the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after (Jeremiah 30:17).
God’s purpose is to elevate us to a higher place of relationship with him. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places (Habakkuk 3:19).
Transformation gives us an advantage over our enemies and we will be victorious. It is the only way to advance in the Kingdom and to promote the cause of Christ until the day He returns and His plan is fulfilled. Paul says it like this, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
You can be born again and still be an emotional wreck. You need restoration. Break free from the emotional bondage and scars of past sins so you can develop into what God wants you to be.
As true transformation begins in our life, we become renewed, restored, and refreshed. We can then fulfill our destiny, experience victory and fully realize that we have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.
That is what the New Birth is all about. It is about walking in the newness of life. For we have been reborn.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God (John 1:10-13 – (NLT).
Our born-again experience is transformational. His blood remits our sins. They are just not covered…they are gone! The Holy Ghost fills us with the very essence of God and leads us into all truth. His Spirit gives us the ability to continually grow and produce the fruit of the Spirit. For every tree is known by his own fruit… (Luke 6:44)
As Yehuda Berg said, “We need to realize that our path to transformation is through our mistakes. We’re meant to make mistakes, recognize them, and move on to become unlimited.”
What are the results of transformation?
- Becoming Christ like in every aspect of our lives.
- Developing the fruit of the Spirit.
- Being led by the Spirit.
- Becoming the example/witness that makes a difference in the world.
Let God Transform You
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:1-2 – NLT).
Our transformation is only possible if we “let God” do it. In order for Him to do it, we must allow Him permission to change the way we think. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (Proverbs 23:7).
If we are truly transformed we will be changed into another form; by definition, transform is to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of. Change completely. (Transformed as stated in Romans 12:2 is from the Greek: Metamorphoo “to change into another form” –Strong’s Concordance; meta, implying change, and morphe, “form:” –Vines)
As believers if we submit to a complete change in obedience to Romans 12:2, that change will occur in our character and conduct. The last part of the word “transformed” is morphe and it emphasizes the inward change. The first part of the word emphasizes the outward change. True transformation is a complete change with both inward and outward implications and it is a continual process.
A caterpillar enters a cocoon and in the secret of its own demise a metamorphosis takes place and transformation into a beautiful butterfly is completed.
Remember that death is always painful, especially when you are dying to appetites and passions that are destructive but so tempting to give into. However, as Arthur Burt stated, “NOTHING HAPPENS until the pain of REMAINING THE SAME outweighs the pain of CHANGE.”
You may feel like you have the reached the end, but the end is nothing more than an opportunity for a new beginning. “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image (JESUS) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We have been transformed – so walk in Newness of Life.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Paul says we are to walk in “newness” of life and serve in “newness” of the Spirit (Rom 6:4; 7:6). A new creation formed by the Spirit releases us from bondage to sin and law, and gives us a new quality to life and service.
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17).
Let Christ be formed in you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Galatians 4:19).
Jesus prayed and the fashion of His countenance was altered. We have often heard the wise adage, “Prayer changes things,” however, the truth is, prayer does much more than that; prayer changes you, and you change things.
….And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering (Luke 9:29).
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light (Matthew 17:2).
Change of Lifestyle is Transformation
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
We need to put off the old ways of the world and put on the new behaviors exampled by Jesus.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:8-10).
Renewed: To cause to grow up, new, to make new. What used to be in the beginning is being restored and transformed back into the original image in Genesis 1:2, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
As we read in Jeremiah 18: 1-6 regarding the potter’s house, God is a master of restoration. We were all fearfully and wonderfully made, but living in this world can cause damage to our souls. He sees us marred and damaged, takes our lump of clay, and He re-works us with tender hands as we are molded…transformed…into His image.
His delight is in the fact that we want Him to transform us. As Watchman Nee said, “It is a fact that God wants to destroy every work of our flesh, but He never desires to destroy our personality. He takes no pleasure in transforming us into automata; rather does He delight in having us cooperate with Him.”
It is time for us to be re-imaged; completely cleansed and start over.
Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.