The hunger for transformation lies deep in every heart.
The desire for transformation lies behind the many self-help books, seminars and renewal retreats. The possibility of transformation serves to fuel hope. If we lose hope, we lose the courage required to stay the process of change and allow God to do a deeper work in our lies
The Apostle Paul went to create lengths to facilitate transformation in those he led. “Morphoo” is the root word behind transformation / formation. Paul would not rest “until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19) Why? Because Paul knew that true success was to be found in … knowing Christ, and the power of His resurrection.” (Phil. 3:10) Success and true results are the by-product of deeper trust and transformation.
Our circumstances become the incubator for the transformation. While all of our eyes are fixed on success and the tangible, God does His transforming work using the interplay between doing and being. God’s call is for us to each go deep (Mark 3:14,15). It is out of the depth of our intimacy with Christ that comes the breadth of ministry for Christ.
Knowing this is true, we still put our emphasis on measurement and the bottom-line. Our culture (both inside and outside the Church) applauds. We give a head-nod to character but in the end still worship the numbers. It is as if we are afraid of placing too much importance on the spiritual side for fear that nothing will get done. If there are no visible results what would that say? About us? About me as a leader? In many a stand-off occurs. We demand results, God clearly puts the emphasis on the process taken to get to the results.
I love John Ortberg’s explanation of the word “morphoo” (transformation) in his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted:
“When morphing happens, I don’t just do the things that Jesus would do, we find ourselves wanting to do them. They appeal to us. They make sense. I don’t just go around trying to do the right things; I want to become the right person.” The journey between the desiring of results and the transformation of our lives, regardless of the results, is a journey made of holy ground.
Examining the picture at the top of this post shows the process of transformation that results. It is self-evident that the beauty and results of transformation that surrounds the butterfly, does not look easy, painless or without struggle. But it is also evident that the results are clearly worth it. Something new is the result. A new way to do life. A new way of life. Only the hands of the creator can produce a different kind of results.
“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.” (Also from the Apostle Paul –Phil. 1:6). Paraphrased… whether the pain or issues of life will ever get better… “He who began this good work in our lives, is still at work.”
Redemption is more than a decision in an meeting, it is an ongoing transformation, bringing each of us to the point of not just wanting results, but wanting Him. Indeed, it is a transforming (morphoo) work! Producing not just a different people, but a different kind of results, and a fruit that remains (John 15).
© Terry Walling 2013