The Transformation Process
One of my favorite past times involves watching home renovation shows. There is something magical about the transformation of a tired old room into a cozy place of rest. From decrepit and broken to new and restored. From hideous and unsightly to beautiful and welcoming. From useless to useful.
Having lived through a renovation project, I can assure you there is nothing magical about the process itself! My husband and I spent three years renovating an old home. It was tedious and tiresome. Many evenings were spent tearing down old walls, pulling out nails, getting dirty, tired, and sometimes, frustrated. But the result was a home that was beautiful, refreshing, functional, and welcoming.
Why is it human nature receives so much satisfaction in viewing the process of transformation? We delight in watching this progression over and over again as is evidenced by the popularity of renovating shows on HGTV and similar channels. We simply can’t get enough of seeing what was once old and ugly being renewed into something our minds had not conceived.
Perhaps we are drawn to this process because it reflects the very work that God longs to do in each of our hearts and lives. When we receive Christ as our Savior, we exchange our old life for a new one. We exchange sin for forgiveness, pride for humility, legalism for grace, fear for love, weakness for strength, and anger for joy.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation is come; the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Once we surrender our lives to God, He sends his Holy Spirit to dwell within us and begin a process of transformation. But into what exactly are we being transformed?
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
God Slowly Transforms Us
Transformed into the image of God. Though we are created by God in His image, sin taints how we view God and, therefore, how we see ourselves. An incorrect view of God leads to a warped view of ourselves. But once His Spirit lives within us, God begins to peel back the layers of deceit and doubt that cloud our vision of Him and which prevent us from reflecting His image in our lives.
Just as a home renovation takes time, our transformation is slow and steady. Day by day, God strips us off the old habits and old thoughts that keep us blind and replaces it with truth. Though the echoes of our old life will come calling, they have no power over us. Sometimes, we fear that we haven’t changed at all, but rest assured, if you are walking obediently in God’s Word, you are not the same person you used to be!
Transformation does not come easily. Though God does the work, we are called to surrender every area of our life and live in obedience to His will. If it seems like a battle, it’s because it is!
Pastor Charles Price once likened the experience to watching a jumbo jet soaring gracefully in the skies. From the ground, the flight seems smooth and graceful. You would never know, unless you are on the plane, the amount of turbulence the passengers are experiencing. In the same way, we feel every bump and bruise in our journey with Christ, and sometimes we get discouraged because it gets so very difficult. But that’s not what others see. They see your victories, your joy, and your faithfulness. They see the light of Christ in your life.
A New Year
A New Year can be a great time to look back on the ways God has been transforming your heart, soul, and mind.
What do you love now that you used to hate, or vice versa?
In times of stress, how has your reaction changed?
Where have you learned to trust?
When we reflect on the ways in which we have grown and matured, we can see how slowly, ever so slowly, God has been chipping away at the places in our lives that needed restoring. Be encouraged by the promise found in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”