Have you been a Christian for a while but you’re struggling to live a transformed life? The truth is, transformation is an ongoing process for Christians until they get to heaven, so we might as well accept that. In the meantime, there are some basic principles that can help us understand transformation and how we can partner with God’s work in us.
Transformation is …
… a process. In fact, transformation is an inside-out process.
It starts with our spirit at the rebirth as we receive the Lord and as we welcome Holy Spirit within us. While we feed our spirit it affects and changes our mind, will, and emotions (our soul). This is our human nature — our fallen nature — when it’s not led by the Spirit of God.
Our spirit is changed instantaneously when we accept Christ. The problem is that our soul hasn’t quite caught up that fast because it takes our free will to partner with Him. As we cooperate with God’s work in our lives, He transforms our soul which eventually begins showing up on the outside to those around us.
Just like you can’t dip a cucumber into vinegar for a minute or two and expect it to transform into a pickle, we have to be patient with the process as God transforms us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). It’s a process.
… with an encounter of God’s love in relationship.
Looking at 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, we see God’s idea of relationship. It involves an “unveiled face” which means there’s nothing hidden; everything’s transparent; there are no walls; face to face with God. It’s about really seeing Him – it’s about an intimate relationship with Him. It’s about truly knowing Him and being known by Him.
Our transformation will take place the more we engage with Him face-to-face, in worship, in His presence, and in His word. We cannot just have a one-time encounter with God or a visitation from Him in a service. These are good things, of course, but it’s about joining our spirit with His Spirit and hosting His presence 24 hours a day.
In fact, the more we gaze upon Him, the more our spirit connects with Him, the more time we have in His presence — the more we’re able to receive His love, and we’ll be transformed from the inside out into the SAME image as God (2 Corinthians 3:18)!
So it’s really important that we get a clear picture of who our Father is because who God is TO us is who He’ll be THROUGH us. Our transformation will be evident to all, so we have got to be confident in who God is and what we believe about Him. The Word says He’s good and His love endures forever (Psalm 100:5), He’s our ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1), and He’ll never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5).
Transformation is Happening When …
… we believe God and what He says to be true, and we know He’s good, no matter what.
How is a parent good? We often judge by circumstances or by what we can provide for our kids, but what makes a good parent is their heart for their kids – that they LOVE their children and want to see their children succeed. It’s the HEART of the parent that makes them good.
God’s a good Father because of His HEART for us, not just because He’s good TO us. What happens when life throws you a curve ball? God’s still good, isn’t He? God isn’t surprised by anything that comes in our life, but it doesn’t mean that He caused it either. We cannot become offended with God because of circumstances when “life happens.”
It’s really important that we understand that God’s will is not always done on the earth. His will is always done in heaven, which is why Jesus told us to pray “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
These are the facts:
> We live in a fallen world, and stuff happens here that doesn’t happen in heaven.
> We have an enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Like a lion, he roams seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
> Free will (ours and others’) will affect us positively and negatively.
> God is still good, no matter what!
On some level, it’s easy to question or to see the Lord through circumstances, and our experiences influence us a lot. Then our experiences tend to become our truth, even though it may not be The Truth. That’s why it’s important that we run TO God when we question and wonder why things are happening the way they are.
Transformation Results When …
… we realize we are royal sons and daughters, and we begin acting like it! We are royalty (Revelation 5:10)! We have value and worth, and we are called to reveal Jesus to the world and to do what He did.
Since we are true sons and daughters of God, we don’t have to earn our inheritance; all we have to do is receive it and walk in it. And that means walking in authority. As believers, we can either give away our authority or use our authority. The more we understand our authority, the more we’re able to release heaven.
God wants to use us to represent Him to the world, but we cannot think the way the world thinks; we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) to think from heaven’s perspective. And that’s not just a one-time thing. We must be continually transformed as our soul lines up with our newly created nature in God (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we’re a new creation and we begin to grow into who we are as sons and daughters, our soul lines up underneath our spirit, and then we’re rightly aligned and able to live out who God says we are.
Transformation is a mind-shift and mouth-shift: When others are saying, “God, do you know how big my problems are?” we are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) saying, “Problems, do you know how big my God is?” That’s a shift in mindset coming from a place of rest and victory, not fear.
This is how sons and daughters of God think and talk because we know who our Daddy is, we know His power and will, and we know who we are. We know that we have an enemy, but we also know that our God is greater.
Transformation Releases …
… the gifts God’s given us.
God wants to heal you up, grow you up and use the things inside you for good. There are unique gifts and abilities that God puts inside of each of us that only we can express. That’s why we need one another and why fellowship is so important.
But the enemy often knows the gifts and strengths we have too; he’ll try to turn them into weaknesses by tainting and twisting them so they work against our good. He’ll try to deceive us so we don’t realize that God made us a certain way for a reason – for His purposes.
We must understand that God put heaven inside us so that we would release it. God gave us supernatural gifts to use now because we won’t need them in heaven! That’s why we need Him to transform us so that we can be and do all that He wants us to right where we’re at.
God’s Transformation Plan
So what can you do to cooperate with God’s transformation plan?
Gaze into His glory and cultivate your relationship with Him; fall deeply in love with Him and really know Him. Begin partnering with Him to transform you into His image more and more each day. Ask Him to help you release heaven into the world.
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