Posted by: JennyRain | March 12, 2010

Beautiful Transformation

Transformation is a valued commodity in today’s society.

Whether you are in business, leadership, a church, a family, are overweight and want to be skinny, are ugly and want to be beautiful, are single and want to be married, or are married and want to have a better marriage, are old and you want to be younger, you will bump into this concept of transformation at some point in your life.

There is transformational leadership, transformational Christianity, being transformed from the inside out, transforming a nation, transforming your eating habits, transforming your life, transformational churches, transformational events… our society is riddled with this concept of being transformed.

To transform actually means:

1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.
2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert.
3. to change into another substance; transmute.
 
 
In molecular biology, transformation is the genetic alteration of a cell resulting from the uptake, genomic incorporation, and expression of environmental genetic material (DNA). Transformation occurs most commonly in Bacteria, both naturally and artificially, and refers to DNA taken up from the environment through their cell wall. Bacteria that are capable of being transformed are called competent.

 

I love the definition of transformation from a biological aspect because it links “competence” and “transformation.”

If you can transform – you are considered competent. I find that rings true in every day life too.

The ability to transform indicates that you have a type of inner strength that guides you.

Transformed people just seem stronger.

Churches are starting to look at the “transformation factor” of their congregants. It is no longer enough to baptize new believers, churches now want to see how the Gospel is transforming their lives.

How does transformation occur? How long does it take? If someone is not being transformed, can we say they are not a follower of Christ?

These are all questions I have wrestled with in my own faith journey. When I made the decision to follow Christ, though I gave intellectual assent to the fact that I was a “transformed creation in Christ,” my life did not start to look radically different until years later.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

We are told “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24)

We are reminded, “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col 3:9-10)

And we know that “our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6)

I knew by identity, I had been transformed in Christ. Behaviorally however, when I could not manage my sin effectively, it kept popping up all over the place, at the most inconvenient times!

All of the things I knew were not a part of my new nature were demanding freedom. When I could not squish them into oblivion, they exploded and leaked all over everyone.

It was so embarrasing.

I know that people looked at my life and wondered, “Is she really a follower of Christ? Look how she is behaving. She must not be saved.”

If I were those people, I probably would be chiming in right along with them.

What a mess.

Was I just incompetent at this thing called following Christ? I mean, if I really were competent, if I really were saved, I would be evidencing more transformation, right?

Maybe.

I am learning that transformation is nebulous, unmanageable, mysterious. I spent years – and thousands of dollars in therapy – trying to “change” myself. 

 I was highly unsuccessful.

If I could just tweak this behavior, modify that tendency, lose that habit, I would be such a better person. The harder I tried, the farther I fell. Was I destined to be this way forever?

Transformation takes time.

One morning during prayer, as I was squeezing my fists urgently lobbying heaven to give me the strength to overcome, God broke in…

“You cannot change yourself,” He said to me, “Only I can do that.”

At that moment, I was set free from the tyranny-of-the-trying. No matter how hard I tried to change myself, I was destined to fail. The problems I had were bigger than me, so I needed a larger-than-me God to transform them.

At that moment, I gave up.

I did not resign, I just gave up trying. I let go. I invited God into the broken places and finally allowed him full access.

It was at that moment that transformation began in my deepest, darkest wounds.

It was at that moment that the chrysalis broke and I discovered my wings.

God asks us to change, but knows we can’t. He causes us to desire transformation, knowing that success depends on complete reliance on His healing power.

No matter how competent we are – we cannot change ourselves. Only God can. And only when we invite Him into our hearts and decide to lay down our will to His more magnificent will, will we discover true freedom.

If you have never trusted the God who can transform your life, call out to Him right now! Tell Christ Jesus that you believe in Him and ask Him to be merciful and save you.

 

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Responses

  1. thanks Jen, another great one. You are absolutely correct about God doing the transforming and healing our wounds. I received more of that in my recliner during my quiet time than any human could have given me. I often see myself reacting in situations in a completely different way than the ‘old’ me would have. That being said, I’m now seeing a life coach to help me in this career change that is beginning.

  2. With humility I will say that people have the proclivity to seek out external support for their own process of transformation-when in fact, the process is an innate one.

    We are responsible for are own transformation-albeit, it is comforting to access support for are own alterations, in the end, independence is substituted for addictive soulful dependency-Marx helps us here.

    Nevertheless, your writing is always inspiring and a joy to read;)

  3. i want to live surrendered so He can transform me…


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