One of the hardest things anyone experiences in this life is change. Certainly we are all creatures of habits, routines and plans to some degree and while some are better at taking change in stride, others kick and scream and rage every time the plans change. Yet, in Christ, change is part of the plan! One of the most optimistic things ever written in the Bible is this: “…if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) That is a statement of faith indeed, because you already know by now that the “new creature” part is easier said than done!
Did you know that when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly through the process of metamorphosis, it digests its old body while it is in the cocoon? Then, after fully digesting its caterpillar body into liquid, the “soup” of cells left over from the old body are the same cells used to construct an entirely new creation- the butterfly! Different on every single level, even down to the genetics. True metamorphosis – the complete transformation of one species into an entirely different species – is hideous, bloody and violent, but on the other side of it all is something totally new and different and much more beautiful. Butterflies and caterpillars don’t just look different — they behave differently, too. They eat different things. They live in different habitats. One crawls, the other soars.
Transformation is not a condition where you become a new version of yourself. Transformation means that you are being built into something that never existed before.
If you’re a “new creature”, then why does the old nature constantly present such a problem? Old feelings, old ways of thinking and perceiving things, emotions, relationships and attachments, fears, strongholds, addictions, memories, old ways of speaking and more all creep up in the worst moments when we’re trying to do our best! When we read “…if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature,” we read that as if it’s already been done (and by faith it has). But. A more accurate translation would be this: “..if any man is in Christ, he is being made into a new creature…” It’s a progressive-tense word signifying a perpetual state of movement. How is that done? Not by your own might or power, that’s for sure! (Zechariah 4:6)
There is no way you can make any sort of true, lasting transformation without submitting to the power of God. You’ll need to cultivate a life of prayer and harness the secret to metamorphosis found Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (“metamorphosis“) by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” How is that accomplished?
- The Word of God: “For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
- Worship: “But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed (“metamorphosis“) into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Thought for today
Transformation is not a condition where you become a new version of yourself. Transformation, according to the Word of God, is metamorphosis meaning that you are being built into something that never existed before. Many Christians struggle with the changes that metamorphosis needs in order to complete the transformation, so they shrug off accountability, discipleship, discipline, admonition, teaching, vulnerability, pain, humility and everything else that could get bloody, hideous and violent or ever just different. Then? They go back to their old ways, or simply become a bland, washed-out version of the vibrant, colorful, beautiful creature God wants them to be. If you are truly transformed by Christ, you can’t go back to who you once were because there is nothing left to go back to! If you don’t know what that feels like, if you’ve been trapped in sin, or if you’re struggling with your “old man” or if you’re feeling stuck in emotions or in anything else, you don’t need change in your life, you need metamorphosis.