There’s something about transformation that I absolutely love! Be it makeovers, house flipping shows or personal transformation, I love it all. What is transformation anyway? What do you think of when you hear that word?
Transformation in Scripture
Mention of transformation is found in scripture:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2 (NASB)
The word “transformed” in the verse above is the word metamorphoo in the greek, which means to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. This is where we get the word metamorphosis from. It is the same word used in Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2 where Jesus goes up on a high mountain with Peter, James, and John and is transfigured; His face shining like the sun and His clothes becoming as white as light.
This transfiguration was a supernatural transformation that could only happen by the power of God. So when Romans says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, we must realize we cannot transform ourselves. This sort of transformation, a completely life-altering, never the same person type of transformation comes only from the power of God. It changes us from one form to another, just like Jesus on the mountain top.
The Road to Transformation
As I journey down the path to transformation, I’ve fallen into the ditches on both sides of the road of over the years. Ditch number one is striving; putting my focus on attempting to transform myself. Ditch two is resignation. If God wants to, and is the only one able to transform me, then I can’t do anything about it so I just abnegate all responsibility. In the journey of being transformed the question then becomes “what is God’s part and what is my part?”
Transformation: a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.The Dictionary
Living life in ditch number one, believing I can transform myself, the striver in me comes out in full force. I’ll try to change, schedule, plan, set goals, work, use sheer willpower to become what I think I should be. I deny my failures, focusing on performance and of course comparing myself to those around to see how well I am doing. This most often results in a warped view of putting others down so I can come out on top, affirming how well my striving is working. Oh and don’t forget letting God know, “I got this! My transformation plan of action is happening, so I won’t be needing your help on this one.” Except for the fact that true transformation comes by the power of the Spirit. Apart from God we cannot be transformed.
Jumping to the other ditch is when I abdicate all responsibility. I start playing the blame game, and essentially take on the role of a victim. Now hear me out, I will never consciously declare I’m a victim; that isn’t how it works. But I will have a list of (external) excuses as to why I can’t be transformed. Again, I am comparing myself to others but this time I fall short every time. I give myself pep-talks like “If I had what that person had, then I would be successful.”
There’s always some key ingredient missing and I’m simply hoping God will one day wave His magic wand and all will be well. I am waiting on God. Besides, I am child of God and He has called me to greatness so He has to make it happen. It is a nice thought and one I have more recently found myself living in. Staying comfortable, waiting for God to do the hard work of transforming me while I put in minimal effort.
The Need to Show Up and Participate
Yes, without a doubt it is the power of God that transforms us, but we need to show up and participate. I have to believe He wants this for me more than I want it for myself. God longs for relationship with His children, it’s the entire story of the Bible, His pursuing us no matter the cost. In that relationship, as in any other healthy relationship, there is participation. It’s like a dance; it takes both working together. Could you imagine how awkward it would be to dance with someone who went completely limp? So again, I come back around to ask “what’s my part in transformation and what’s God’s part?”
Here’s Your Invitation
We are taking the next 6 weeks to focus on transformation. What is it? How do we embrace it? What does God and the Bible say about it? Maybe we start with a simple personal prayer crafted from Romans 12:2 (TPT):
“God give me the grace to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around me, but let me be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit though a total reformation of how to think. This will empower me to discern God’s will as I live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in Your eyes.”
I invite you to join us as we journey together down the road to being transformed. Leave a comment below and support each other along this amazing path.