God’s desire is to work through all His children unhindered, where He can use us to manifest His character, use us in the supernatural and miraculous to bring salvation to the lost, healing to the sick, and deliverance to the oppressed. We must realize though, to do that we’ve got to submit to His work of grace to change and transform our lives. Jesus is in our lives to transform us into Christ-likeness. God saves you just the way you are, but not so you will stay the way you are. There’s a change that is to take place. The desire and will to change is ours; the power to change is His.
This change is described in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect, will of God.” It is also called the saving of the soul (mind, will, emotions) in James 1:21 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” You need to know this about change:
1) It is not automatic. It won’t happen by chance. It won’t happen by accident.
Romans 12:2 says that we are transformed (changed) by something. Change happens by something. It is by the renewing of the mind. No one wakes up one day spiritually mature. No one gets lucky. No one gets a special break. Every spiritually mature believer got there by a definite pathway.
2) The change God brings is a noticeable change, a radical alteration.
The word transformed needs understood. This is not a cover up work. It is not a pretend, play-like or never getting to the root of things, or filling your mind with facts and information you eventually forget kind of change. It is not just an informed mind. Transformed comes from two root words; meta, implying “change” and morphosis, which means “into another form.” It is a change that happens from the inside out. There is a radical alteration. There is a noticeable change formed in our soul. Christ is formed in our character. We get our word we use in biology, metamorphosis, which the encyclopedia describes as the change that occurs in the form of many lower animals; i.e., butterfly, which changes from egg, larvae, pupa, caterpillar, butterfly. That is quite a noticeable and radical change. Instead of being shaped, molded, formed and fashioned by external influences, we become shaped, molded, formed and fashioned from inside out by the power of the Word and Spirit of God.
3) It is personal and up to each individual believer how much change we submit to.
Every believer without exception needs their mind renewed and soul saved. Notice in Romans 12:1-2 and James 1:21 that the person who is supposed to do something is YOU. You present your bodies, you be not conformed, but you be transformed, you receive with meekness the engrafted Word. The power to change is His, but the desire and willingness is ours. You have a part to play.
So it is not our trying to muster up something in our own strength and our own power. The power is His, but the choice to change is ours. Change always involves a willing response on our part because our will is sovereign and God will not force us. (Both Romans 12:1-3 and James 1:21 imply a willing response.)
4) It is an ongoing, continuous process God wants to happen in us daily.
Not an instant, one time shot, or God miraculously changing everything about you, although you may have transforming experiences in your walk. Notice in the following verses the words used indicate some kind of a process.
Romans 12:1-3 – “transformed by the renewing of your mind”
James 1:21 – “saving of the soul”
2 Corinthians 3:18 – “changed into the same image from glory to glory”
2 Corinthians 4:16 – “outward man perishes, inward man is renewed day by day”
5) You must know how to secure a line of defense against your enemy.
You must realize this process does not go on uncontested. We live in a sin cursed world full of darkness, and we have an enemy who throws a thousand detours, sidetracks, roadblocks and distractions to keep you from wholeness and maturity. A disciplined effort needs made to allow this process to continue. While Christ is being formed in you, while your soul is being saved, while He’s healing your brokenness and while this building is going on you are in a war and you must know how to fight. Second Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us how we must do warfare, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” In addition to fighting this defensive battle, we are also to take the offensive side of the battle when we’re instructed what to think on.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. This could be termed as maintaining healthy self-talk or the thoughts you think of yourself.
6) Never lose sight of God’s love for you and His commitment to your maturity.
Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. In the process, your heart needs assured of God’s love for you. He’s committed to your completion or maturity in Christ-likeness. He will never quit His side of the deal. You need to be secure in this so you don’t give up on yourself and become your own worst enemy and oppose yourself.