The Transformation Process!
“. . . unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
“These words of our Lord refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives. If we trust in our own abilities, instead of God’s we produce consequences for which God will hold us responsible. When God through His sovereignty brings us into new situations, we should immediately make sure that our natural life submits to the spiritual, obeying the orders of the Spirit of God. Just because we have responded properly in the past is no guarantee that we will do so again. The response of the natural to the spiritual should be continuous conversion, but this is where we so often refuse to be obedient. No matter what our situation is, the Spirit of God remains unchanged and His Salvation unaltered. But we must “put on the new man . . .” (Ephesians 4:24). God holds us accountable every time we refuse to convert ourselves, and He sees our refusal as willful disobedience. Our natural life must not rule – God must rule in us!
To refuse to be continuously converted puts a stumbling block in the growth of our spiritual life. There are areas of self-will in our lives where our pride pours contempt on the throne of God and says, “I won’t submit.” We deify our independence and self-will and call them by the wrong name. What God sees as stubborn weakness; we call strength. There are whole areas of our lives that have not been brought into submission, and this can only be done by this continuous conversion. Slowly but surely, we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.”
Picture if you will, a man out in the ocean. The waves are coming up over him, he is choking, and his lungs are filling with water. The lifeguard swims toward him. The man in distress chooses to accept the lifeguard’s hand and help. He rescues him. He is saved from death.
Now, the man that was rescued from the ocean has a choice. He can go to classes and learn to swim, and at the same time learn the rules of water safety, thus being able to go out in the ocean again. Or he can walk around the edge, trying to stay in the shallow parts, being afraid and never being able to enjoy life to its fullest.
You see, life is like an exceptionally large ocean. Sometimes that ocean is calm, other days it is choppy and other days it can get very rough; and there are days with storms. There are also undercurrents that can pull you under very quickly, the undercurrents represent the danger situations. These are situations that you cannot see! However, with the guidance of the voice of the Holy Spirit they can be avoided.
Unless one is walking in obedience they are not in the Safe-Zone! The only way to deal with the elements of the ocean of life is to wrap yourself in the life jacket of obedience. Thus, learning to listen to the VOICE of the Lifeguard of Life!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will. (NIV) Romans 12:1-2
The way the word “transformed” is used here in the Greek, it is not a “sudden” verb, it is a continuous action. Transformation comes with time. If we were transformed at the moment we accepted Christ, then we would never have to concern ourselves with holding on to or having inappropriate anger. If we were transformed at the moment of being saved, Paul would not have had to “urge” us to be transformed. Another way to look at this is, Jesus would not have had to work so hard with His disciples. Why did He have to train them, rebuke them, and even get indignant with them, if they were transformed at the moment they began to follow him?
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (NIV) Mark 10:13-15
We must want to be transformed! We must be willing in our hearts to lay ourselves and everything we are on the altar to be transformed. Jesus had to lay down His Deity and all that went with it! (Philippians 2:5-8) He had to empty himself! This was Jesus’ transformation process - transformation into a human being!
I am not saying God wants you to walk away from your children and your spouse – I am saying that we must not allow anything to be first in our hearts before God and his will! We must put God first in all things! We must be willing to put everything in our lives under the direction of God! We are told to, ‘love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with our entire mind.”
We must be willing to give up “things” in our lives. The transformation process cannot be completed unless we learn to hear God’s VOICE and spend time with him! Most of all we cannot be transformed unless we are willing to CHANGE!
I want to stop here and bring up a truth that I have talked about before – when Adam and Eve made their choices to disobey God – all was lost in many ways. Except for TWO Divine Rights! Those Divine Rights were the right to HEAR GOD’S VOICE and the right to CHOOSE! These Divine Rights still apply at this moment and they will apply for as long as this world goes on!
Now, when total transformation comes, you will be so different that God could change your name, just as He did with: Abram became Abraham; Jacob became Israel; Simon became Peter and Saul became Paul!
Real transformation has come for you when someone comes up to you and says, “There is something different about you – you are not the same person as before and it is good.”
Transformation does not come by just the reading of the written Word; it comes from “listening”, “hearing” and “obeying” the voice of the Most High God! The following is a quote from one of Jack W. Hayford’s books.
“A word of warning though. By itself Bible study will not transform your life. It will not give you power, peace, joy comfort, hope and a number of other gifts God longs for you to unwrap and enjoy. Through Bible study, you will grow in your understanding of the Lord, His kingdom and your place in it, and those things are essential. BUT you need more. You need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you and your application of Bible truths. He, Jesus promised, was sent to teach us “all things.” (John 14:25; cf. 1 Cor. 2:13). Jack W. Hayford, B.A., B.Th., D.D., Litt.D., General Editor, Spirit Filled Bible, Senior Pastor, The Church on The Way, Van Nuys, California.
I have to say once again, I am not implying anything against the authenticity of, or the Word of the living God. I am simply saying we need more than just our Bibles! We need to hear the VOICE of the Living God!
Most individuals do not think about allowing God to change them! The Bible says, “Many are called but few are chosen.” This is because many individuals will not give God what He wants so He can prepare them and change them for to carry out their callings properly and appropriately!
Being born again comes only through Continuous Conversion! It is a lifetime process!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 2:1-13 (NIV)
There is no being born again without the transformation process - the old you has to go! The following are some of the predominate characteristics of Satan’s nature that has to go from our lives, and this comes through transformation: Lying, holding grudges, the manipulating of others, meanness, gossip, slandering, wanting revenge, sneaky, unfaithful, abusing of others, cunning, proud, bringing of discord, envying, being out of control, hating, distorts, accusations, stealing, destroying others as in their reputations, killing, controlling, conceit, bringing hurt and pain, and etc.
“When someone truly accepts Jesus into their life, the predominate character and nature of Satan has to leave their life. It has to!”
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