Transformation: What It Is and Isn’t
Have you ever wondered what transformation is about? Or pondered why it has become the buzzword among life coaches and public speakers?
In Latin, trans means across or through and forma means to form. To transform means there is change that cuts across or through something.
For you to be transformed means you develop a different mindset – changing who you are from your very core.
Have you seen a house whose foundation is faulty and even crumbling? Its roof leaks, air enters through cracks around doors and windows, and it has a musty smell.
The temptation is to redecorate it, especially as that quickly changes the face of things. Because it looks better, it feels better. Besides, you might really enjoy such a project.
Let’s imagine you have purchased such a house. If appearance is important to you, you probably will begin on the outside. You do a nice paint job, add some shutters to make the house look more friendly, and then landscape with lovely flowers and shrubs. For added comfort, you may even screen in the porch.
The house looks inviting, even happy on the outside.
Next you clear out the old furniture and rugs, spackle all the cracks, and do a beautiful paint job. After you install some cupboards, new sinks, and a tub, you furnish every room with curtains, carpets, and new furniture that harmonize with the color of the room. Great job! It looks wonderful!
I’m sure you are with me on this one. The house looks good. The décor is lovely. But it hasn’t been transformed. It has merely been refurbished to make it appear what it is not.
It has the same foundational problems that were skillfully camouflaged. When it rains, the roof still leaks. The musty smell is hidden by wonderful aromas coming from diffusers strategically placed through the house.
And the foundation – the most important part of the house – still is faulty. Though hidden from sight, it continues to crumble, causing structural damage.
A More Excellent Way
You may wonder where I am going with this.
Scripture speaks of two kinds of transformation. There is the external transforming that allows one to appear to be what he is not.
Paul said Satan transforms or camoflagues himself so he looks like an angel of light (2 Co 11:14). False apostles camoflague themselves to look like true apostles who have been anointed by Christ (2 Col 11:13).
There’s a problelm. Such transformation only hides what is at the core.
To alter or camoflague the appearance of someone or something doesn’t deal with the root.
I know it is shocking but even demons can momentarily look good!
This is a warning to us. If we try to look like everything’s okay, we’ve failed to deal with the root issues locking us into bondage.
So is there a solution to this dilemma?
The is a second kind of transformation. Jesus doesn’t care if you look good, He wants you to become good. The transformative work of the Holy Spirit engages with your spirit, with who you are at your very core. He works to transform you into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:18).
Here’s the bottom line.
True transformation begins on the inside and moves outward. It is uncomfortable for it means becoming vulnerable. The hidden things inside our very core must be brought into the light.
Like with the house. The plumbing is invisible, but is crucial to the functionality of the home. Putting in new sinks makes the house look nice. It won’t fix the ancient and inefficient plumbing or deal with internal damage caused by leaking pipes.
This is where you might hit a snag. You and I are called to be transformed, transfigured – literally metamorphosed. Changed from the inside out – like a larva that metamorphoses into a caterpillar. Or the caterpillar that spins a chrysalis. Inside the chrysalis it has to die to life as a caterpillar, so it can be metamorphosed, transformed, or re-birthed into a butterfly.
Metamorphosis is a total restructuring of the organism. The external appearance is altered but it is caused by an internal changing and reprogramming. The internal restructuring drives the external changes.
For you and I to be transformed into the image of Christ – root issues must come into the light. The past that was buried alive must be faced in the Light. Only in the light can the Holy Spirit do His transformative work to bring the resurrection life of Christ.
My dear friend, transformation requires courage.
Tearing out ancient plumbing is a messy job. It is also messy to allow the Lord to open areas from the past.
It takes time and courage to face the past. It requires you to give yourself permission to be angry and to grieve for what was lost.
Alow the Lord to walk with you through memories that keep surfacing, Let Him move you into a place of quiet confidence where you triumph over the enemy’s lies and where the past is dead!
This is counter cultural. In the Church, we expect people to look good. But that is to walk in the fear of man, it is to perform as we become skilled at hiding who we really are.
Jesus called the Pharisees – who outwardly looked really good – filthy, white washed sepulchres. He said they took great effort to paint their tombs to look beautiful, but inside of them was hidden death and moral impurities. (Matt 23:27).
A New Chapter
I am beginning to livestream on Facebook – Tuesday chats on how to experience transformation in your life.
As this past Tuesday, I will briefly deal with an issue and further develop it my weekly blog. If you missed the livestream on Tuesday, you can always watch the recording here.
I hope you will join me on Facebook. Please invite your friends who are longing to experience true transformation in their lives to listen in.
I’d love to hear any suggestions or feedback you have.
My prayer is you will choose life. Choose to allow the Holy Spirit to bring the hidden things of darkness into the light so you may experience the transformative power of Christ in your life.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May you celebrate His transformative work in your life.
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I love reading your blog posts because you have such a way with taking complex topics that have often been muddied under layers of confusion and lies in our world and churches today and then cutting through all that mess to bring so much clarity. Transformation is a term I see everywhere—even in the world of education—and it sounds good, but something is often missing. Thank you for clearly dilineating the differences between superficial transformation and true metamorphosis. The first is a move of the flesh to make something appear what it is not while the later one is a completely new creation that is not something done in our power but by the Holy Spirit’s touch as we yield and open up to Him. I see why grieving is essential to begin the process now. Thanks for sharing the post, and your plan to do livestream Tuesdays sounds adventurous and exciting. Looking forward to watching the video. 🙂
Good afternoon, Joy.
Thanks for your comment. Yes, transformation is a much loved word. Probably most of us desire it. But there is a price – we have to be willing to be dismantled. Just like the house – where things have to be brought into the light and then torn out. That is neither fun nor comfortable. Especially as we have to relinquish control. For most of us, we say yes in our head, but no in our heart.
May the Lord make you (and each of us reading this) desperate for Himself so that in your inner being you give Jesus permission to be LORD and then allow the Holy Spirit to be your Teacher. God bless!