So often I hear the term growth or maturity. I would like to speak to those words describing spiritual movement as a Christian. I hear things like, “I sure have grown or thank God I am a Christian because if I wasn’t I would have ______. You fill in the blank with your foothold or weight. I would like to challenge you not to spend so much energy on what you don’t do any longer, but on godly actions and behaviors that please God. “9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10
I challenge you to live life offensively. Let’s go higher in our effort to please God. The idea of spiritual growth and spiritual maturity is to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Another one of my favorites: “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 and acceptable, and perfect will of God” Romans 12:2.
These two verses are referring to a ‘change into’, not just a ‘change of’. Let me explain. When you have a ‘change of’, there is just a difference. Every difference is not necessarily spiritual growth. Example: If you normally speak or talk aggressively or offensively, then you decide to stop. Your reason is because you are a Christian and don’t want to be a ‘potty mouth’ any longer. You now have had a change of speech. Your speech is different, now there is something different about you. Was your change spiritual or was it just a change? Where is your heart?
But ‘to change into’ is like a caterpillar, it ‘changes into’ a butterfly. We are talking about metamorphism, a change of nature. This creature was a caterpillar, but now it is a butterfly. It went through a change process progressively. Christians should not just go through a ‘bunch’ of changes only to call it maturity. The change that I am referring to is the transformation that can only come by the Holy Spirit. Transformation is a by-product of renewing our minds and putting away carnal/worldly behaviors. We are being changed into the likeness of Christ. Because of the lifted veil, we have access to this change into Christ’s image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.
What is our part? Put to death your earthly tendencies:sexual immorality, impurity, passions, evil desire, and covetousness, and idolatry Colossians 3:5 ESV. Then peel the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law Galatians 5:22-23 ESV.
Be encouraged Saints! It is a process and we shouldn’t trouble ourselves with the details of the progression status. A butterfly doesn’t know it is a butterfly until the day it take wings and fly. Do your part and let God do the rest. Be ye transformed. What a wonderful change.
Heavenly Father, thank you for transforming me into the likeness of your son, Jesus the Christ. Help me to put away earthly tendencies and take a closer look at the fruit and walk in them. Help me to recognize my blind-spots in those areas where I think I am so strong. Send someone along to help me recognize them. Give me strength and wisdom to know that when you send this person, it may come in the form of discomfort. Hold me up when it is a shock to me. Oh Lord help me. I tremble at the thought, strengthen me. for this part of the journey. In Jesus name amen!
The journey flows…