I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,~Galatians 2:20 NIV
…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!~2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV.
Transformation as defined by Webster’s dictionary:
a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.
I’m sure if you’re a Christian you’ve heard the phrases, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” or “Act like Jesus.” These are great statements to consider. Yet unless we are born again (saved through faith in Christ) and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we have zero chance of effectively and consistently imitating Jesus.
You see we (humans) are powerless in and of ourselves to lead sinless lives. If we could, there would be no need for a Savior. Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of sin and death.
The Holy Spirit comes to empower righteous living and character transformation.
The old man, pre Christ, is gone…dead…dead…dead. The new creation has come. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I’m such a wretched sinner…just barely making it by grace.” That’s like a butterfly saying, “I’m just a ugly, belly crawling caterpillar.” Transformation occurred and is occurring.
Photo above: My butterfly paintings…
After conversion we are in the process of transformation (santification), being changed into the character likeness of Jesus Christ. Just as infants grow into maturity, the Holy Spirit works in us to continually reveal Jesus and righteousness.
I’ve lead discipleship groups for about 5 years now. When people say, “God feels so distant. I don’t have any direction, transformation, peace, love, or joy in my life,” I ask…
“How much time are you spending with God? Not doing things for Him, being with Him.”
The answer is normally, “I don’t have time to be with God.”
My response, “You can’t afford not to.“
Though I’ve heard people teach it, God will not do everything for us. Nope. He said, “I set before you life and death, choose life. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Put Me first and you will find life.”
We have the ability to quench the Holy Spirit, to reject God, to choose sin, and choose to not spend time with God.
I gave my life to Jesus at age 7. From 7 until 16, I just went to church and tried not to sin. God was good, yet distant (so I thought). I didn’t see radical transformation in my life. I just had the cruise ship Christian mentality…”I’m not going to hell. I will give money and be nice and help some people here and there. Yeah!” I think I led one person to Christ.
Age 16 to now. There were so many life changes that really shook me. Something in me wanted to hear God’s voice. When I began to pursue God’s face and His voice, a deeper transformation began to occur. Couple that with years of wilderness experiences and you find yourself enrolled in the school of the Holy Spirit.
The more time I spent with God and spend with God, the more His desires and heart become my own. He’s my best friend. I talk to Him and spend more time with Him than anyone else.
We don’t pick God, He chooses us…oh, to be chosen…
If I were going to choose someone for ministry, it wouldn’t be me; very introverted, highly analytical, not interested in platforms or being seen, can be overloaded by too much people interaction. I’m a scientist/engineer who’s never been to bible college (just been with God and studying Him for most of my life).
God said, “I pick you. Go tell them about My love and demonstrate My love.” I like Moses responded, “Are you serious?” My focus was on who I thought I was, not who He called me to be. I didn’t want to be seen or heard by anyone but God.
Out of deep love for God and the deposit of His love into my heart for others, off I went to be a living vessel fully surrendered to His will.
God is transforming my character into His likeness. Since 16 there have been so many miracles, God stories, changes, an increase in peace, joy, courage, passion, love, generosity, kindness, even patience and self control…
As a young person, I rely on Him for wisdom. His thoughts becoming my thoughts.
As a thinker, I rely on Him for love and compassion. His heart for people becoming my heart for people.
God transforms our character through relationship. It’s not about striving to be like Him. It’s about a covenant relationship founded on commitment, love, and intimacy. Just as married people grow to know each other and can represent the other. As we grow through intimacy (knowing) with God, we will represent Him well in the earth. We are transformed into the likeness of His Son.
Praying for you! Cheering for you!!! You are so deeply loved (John 3:16).
Love in Christ,