Perhaps one of the things that has grieved me the most over the years is a reality I have seen in the Body of Christ – something of which both myself and my wife were guilty as charged. This something seems to be everywhere now that I ask around and now that I’m actively looking. The reason it is so common, in my opinion, is because almost everyone is guilty. So what is this crime?
Not being transformed
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. (Rom 12:2 KJV)
How is it that someone can be part of a fellowship where the Word of God is being taught and then leave exactly the same?
How is it that one can be living in sin, as I was, show up to meetings week after week and not experience *either* conviction or freedom?
How is it that one can stand in the presence of Almighty God and not change?
The answer is: They cannot.
And if you are not changing, it means you are not standing in the presence of Almighty God and you should be gravely concerned about your relationship with Him. If you are playing ‘the church game’ with yourself, like the Pharisees were, it’s time to wake up and smell the spiritual coffee and do a little test on yourself. Here is a test I perform on myself regularly now, and I hope it will be of value to you as well:
- Is God’s will truly most important in your life, or are there ‘other things’ that tend to rule?
- Do you truly want to know Him, the person of God, or do you want to know about him? Karl Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses and he was right, by the way. Are you opiating?
- Do you love the Word of God, or do you find it a drag to read, and like a ‘boring book’?
- Does sin bother you to your very core, or do you accept it as ‘the way it is’ like the rest of the world?
- Do you feel more hungry to know God more, or do you feel satisfied with your current relationship with God?
- Do you have sin in your mind and life? Pornography, sexual deviancy, alcohol and drug addictions, hatred, jealousy, un-thankfulness, un-forgiveness, and the like?
- Do you feel trapped in some kind of slavery and unable to break free?
- Are you being transformed or are you staying the same?
I know these are hard questions and they don’t feel good to ask, but let’s be serious. Jesus said that you can’t have two masters. I agree and say that you can’t play for two teams, either.
All throughout the Bible wherever God’s presence was, transformation of the most exciting kind took place. In the Old Testament you saw this with the physical location of the temple and the ark of the covenant. In the New Testament, everywhere Jesus went amazing healings took place and unbreakable chains were broken. In the book of Acts and onwards, you see clearly the very hearts of men transformed from God haters to God lovers. Transformation and change is a key theme and proof of God’s existence in individual lives and even nations.
But don’t stress out. You also can’t get right before God by doing a bunch of religious gymnastics or increase the frequency of the few righteous things you do. The Pharisees also did their ‘good works’ but they were destined for the fire of hell.
There is nothing you can do.
You are hopeless on your own.
But thanks be to God for the amazing transforming power of Jesus.
The day you truly repent and turn from your disturbing ways and allow Jesus to rule your very temporary life, is the first day of the rest of your life. On this day, true transformation will begin and the checklist above will soon be a joy to check because you’ll be shocked at how the power of God can change a person’s heart at the very core.
I pray that today be the first day of your transformation.