What is Transformation?
Posted on August 23, 2014
Although I wrote about this topic in a previous post, I am sensing the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing on this subject again. Transformation. Transformation is a word that increasingly gained popularity in the last 10-15 years. Depending on who you ask there is a different definition for transformation. Now, at first glance I don’t have a huge problem with the moving target. I don’t think we all need to have the same brain and always work from the same definition and merely create clones that know how to parrot something.
The challenge I’m raising is the definitions people use seem to fall a bit short of a brand new life! While the definition of transformation is articulated uniquely by different streams I keep finding similar themes and undertones. The basic idea is ceasing from sin and increasing in spiritual disciplines from a behavioral perspective. Now, I would never state that these two things are not included in the term transformation. But what I will say is sin and discipline do not drive transformation. Ceasing from sin and increasing in discipline are more the by-products of transformation.
I think the challenge we are facing is we don’t really know what causes transformation but we have a few ideas of what it looks like so we are working to look transformed but not working from a place of ALREADY transformed. Transformation is a change in operating system not a change in software. We are NOT just plugging and playing new behaviors that are socially acceptable among the brethren for those that are “illegal.” The true nature of transformation is a person who HAS consumed us! Like Paul in Galatians 2 we too can say, “I HAVE BEEN crucified with Christ and I NO LONGER LIVE, but Christ lives in me.”
The nature of transformation is better described as an awakening rather than becoming. The thing is we see the evidence of small changes bit by bit and then we misinterpret what’s happening on the inside. What’s not happening is people progressively becoming pure and holy. What is happening is people progressively waking up to reality that Jesus really did accomplish it all in His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. If I’m going to blog on transformation, I might as well throw my hat in the ring as to how I would articulate the subject.
I believe transformation is an awakening. It’s realizing God is not selling anything, but has already given us everything in Christ. It is trusting a good father who has our best in mind. No longer earning and working to be accepted, but joyfully walking in the calling He has set out for us. It’s seeing people as they really are not as the lies they believe try to define them. Transformation is no longer needing credit for anything because the joy of intimacy with the godhead makes comparison seem less than desirable.
It’s realizing all my old, negative, destructive desires are DEAD, and I’m a new creation in Christ! I’m not trying to be good, I’m just being who I really am which is someone infused with abundant life! It’s loving unbelievers because you see who they really are! You just want them to experience by choice the goodness of God. It’s a loss for a desire to control outcomes and a deep conviction that God works all things together for good. It looks like Jesus on the inside not just behaviors trying to imitate Jesus.
This is how I see transformation at this point. And I would guess, like most things, my understanding and yours will continue to unfold the more clearly we see and understand who God is and what He is like. This can only be described one way. Good. News. #boom