<<convert, make over>>
This is a very pronounced change normally taking place over a considerable period, and in the Christian context is part of
– being set
apart for the Lord’s use.
A change of mindset is the foundation of transformation. How has your thinking changed?
God as we understand our new identity and standing in Christ (Rom 6:2-4; 2 Cor 5:17; 2 Pet 1:2-11). As we live out our confession, by choosing to co-operate with the Holy Spirit, sin’s power over our lives is broken, leading to this transformation – being dead to sin yet alive to God (Rom 6:11-14).
Because we have passed from darkness to light we co-operate with Him by dealing with the old life and replacing its ungodliness with the qualities that reflect the nature and character of Christ (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:17,18; Gal 5:22,23; Eph 4:22-24, 5:8; Phil 3:21; Col 3:9,10; 1 Jn 3:2).
Transformation is an ongoing process of transition. We grow like and adopt the lifestyle of those we live with and focus our attention upon (Ps 115:8; Prov 13:20, 22:24,25). Conversion is the beginning of a new relationship by which our thought life and confession are renewed and the more closely we relate to Him the more we will be like Him. As Christ is ‘being formed in us’ if a person doesn’t show increasing signs of Christ-likeness over time we may question whether they are really connected to Jesus and born-again (Mt 7:20; Gal 4:19).
Transformation is a lifelong adjustment, not a short-term ‘turning over a new leaf’ that soon reverts to the same old pattern. Ideally transformation is holistic, affecting every aspect of our lives (body, soul and spirit), liberating us forever (through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit) as God intended.
As clay is in the potter’s hand, let God shape us into what He wants, replacing our hard, stony hearts with malleable responsive hearts. Our input and motivation will largely determine the level of transformation that takes place (Isa 45:9, 64:8; Jer 18:1-6; Ezek 11:19; Rom 9:21; 2 Tim 2:20,21). By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter was transformed from a coward to a bold preacher and Paul was changed from an ardent opponent and persecutor of Christians to probably the most zealous and influential Christian leader of all time – from the worst of sinners to a saint (Jn 18:17,25-27; Act 2:14-40; Act 9:1-18; 1 Tim 1:12-16).
I want to be all Jesus gave His life to gain for me. How about you? It will involve sacrifice and commitment, costing us dearly, as it did for Him. Those opposed to God want our destruction, but if like Joseph we respond in a right spirit this will be turned around and become a blessing (Gen 50:20).
Jesus would also say to us, “Come follow me and I will make you...” Faith involves fully embracing and implementing the truth in total commitment to Christ when there is no indication of the route or experiences we will pass through to reach the desired conclusion (Mt 4:19). We are being transformed so, in turn, we can transform our world and help those around us to come into a greater liberation in Christ.
Can others observe the transformation occurring in my life?
either. He won’t force His abundant life and victory on us, yet makes it available if we seek Him. Develop a habit of regular prayer, Bible study and meditation, allowing the life transforming principles of God’s Word to replace the wrong thought patterns and beliefs in your mind (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:1-6, 119:9,11; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8).
Renewal is the stirring up of individual Christians, to seek God’s power in their lives, resulting in a new empowering of the Holy Spirit, with rekindled love and praise focusing on God and a fresh understanding of His call on their lives.
Revival is the bringing back to life again or re-awaking those in the church with a new desire for prayer and dedication to the purposes of God, resulting in many people in an area becoming Christians and submitting to His Lordship as the fear of the Lord descends on the locality with conviction.
Renewal and revival represent God moving among people, leading to transformation as people respond to what He is saying both individually and collectively, and affecting the social and economic aspects of a community as well as even the environment.
As God’s spokespeople, Christians have a key role to play practicing His teachings and sharing His values for the conduct of life. The extent to which the transformation process takes place is dependent on the willingness of people to listen to and then obey the Lord. When an entire community begins to reflect the presence and glory of God in a way that can be evaluated and compared to previous years the community is transformed. His Presence reveals His amazing love and desire to dwell within redeemed humanity.
See also: change, meditate/meditation, new/new life, mind, process, put off/put on, regeneration, renewal, revive/revival, sanctify/sanctification, thinking/thoughts, transfiguration, transition, truth.