When Dean trusted Christ as Savior and Lord, he changed- really changed. A coworker who missed his risqué jokes and other things that were part of the ‘old man,’ said, “What’s wrong with you?” I think it might be better phrased, “What’s right with you?” Genuine Christianity is about personal transformation. We throw that word around loosely much of the time not actually getting to the real meaning of spiritual transformation.
In Revolution, George Barna writes – “Spiritual transformation is any significant and lasting transition in your life wherein you switch from one substantial practice or perspective to something wholly different that alters you at a basic level. Switching from a Methodist church to a Presbyterian church is not transformational; determining to live in accordance with a Biblical worldview is. Attending Sunday School after years of absence is not transformational; identifying one’s spiritual gifts, and grasping the call to use those gifts for the Kingdom’s outcomes, and initiating a lifestyle of service to others is….. Transformation is a significant spiritual breakthrough… and you are never the same.. it redefines you.”
As Dean discovered, transformation – like all real change – is disturbing. It upsets the status quo and makes people uncomfortable. Jesus was radical about it! Read His shocking words: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”” (Luke 12:51-53, NIV) Tepid religion that makes nice does not do that! Spiritual transformation does!
A person who has met God, who has confronted his sins and in whom the Spirit now resides, becomes a fanatic about loving God. His life, even more than his words, is a rebuke to those who are living for lesser things. His passion for justice, for holiness, for Christ is so overwhelming that those who do not know God often want the transformed person to go away and take “Jesus” with him. Let’s not get the wrong idea here. Some people are just obnoxiously religious! They rudely shove their religion in other’s faces, become the office Ayatollah who judges everyone else. That’s not the offense of the Cross. That’s just being ignorant and rude.
Genuinely spiritual transformed people often say little, but their life is so changed, that their very presence brings others to the realization of their own spiritual bankruptcy. In a story recorded in Acts 4, Peter and John go to the Temple for prayer. On their way they saw a man who could not walk and he asked them for some change. Having no money, Peter and John shared the power of God with him, and he was healed. They got arrested for it! Dragged before the religious council, they spoke passionately and eloquently about Jesus. The transformation from rough Galilee peasants to powerful men of God caused that council to take note that “these men had been with Jesus.”
Believer, are you being transformed by ‘being with Jesus’ or just reformed by religion?
Is your life totally re-oriented around a core love of God or are you just making adjustments, on the edges, in an attempt to be a marginally better person?
If we are seeking God, if we are in a daily conversation with the Holy Spirit, the Bible says that He will “…transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” (Romans 12:2, NLT)
Meditate on that challenge today! Pray, “Lord Jesus, change me – from the inside out!”
It’s no simple makeover, it’s a radical life change – a revolution.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
All His wonderful passion and purity;
May His spirit divine, all my being refine
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
copied – public doman