Here is the devotional:
A caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly is a miraculous change, but it’s a slow, messy one. Likewise, true transformation for most followers of Christ can take so long they start to wonder, what’s taking so long? And why, if we’re empowered by the Holy Spirit, does it seem so difficult?
One thing we need to recognize is that we all bring the baggage of our old destructive lifestyles with us when we come to Jesus, and it doesn’t just go away.
If you’re trying to figure out how to live as a Christian while clinging to the security of your cocoon, you are going to struggle. A new life demands a new lifestyle. But fallen human nature tends to cling to the familiarity of the known, even when it may be destructive. Our new nature must embrace what seems unknown to us, even though we’ve been told much about it.
To paraphrase the beautiful statement in 2 Corinthians 5:7 about becoming a new creation, you are no longer a worm. You’re a butterfly. Old things are gone. All is made new.
How can deeply flawed people in desperate situations live as God has called us? Paul gives us three principles in Ephesians 4:22-24 of holy transformation.
Put off the old self. This is a step you must decide to take. Leave behind that old cocoon!
Be made new in the renewing of your mind. The grammar is in the present tense. We need to continually put good, true, and beautiful material into our minds!
Put on the new self. Choose to focus on your relationship with Christ, and reflect Him in all your choices, decisions, and activities.
Over time, as we learn to cooperate with His Spirit; He changes our thoughts, actions, attitudes, and words. The goal is to become so inwardly transformed that we no longer have to live a life that goes against our natural grain. Get ready to fly!
What habits, temptations, thought patterns, and behaviors do you need to decisively break off and leave behind?
In what ways do you need to see, think, and believe differently to conform to God’s perspective?
Prayer: Father, I’m ready to throw my old baggage away. Help me to put off my old attitudes, renew my mind, and put on a new understanding so I can change and transform as You desire me to change.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ;
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Ephesians 4:17-24 KJV
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.
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
The other day I mentioned taking an inventory of yourself. Part of that inventory should include things like bad habits/good habits and it may include a list of people who have hurt you in the past and why.
The bad habits/good habits is for us to realize that…yeah we all have baggage. And often times those bad habits were not “bad” habits until you became a Christian and you felt convicted about them. They are familiar so you may hold on to them for a while until you replace them with good habits.
Sort of like the caterpillar/cocoon/butterfly reference.
You get saved and change but you bring part of your old self with you into the “cocoon”. We can stay in our “cocoon” for years by the way as we are renewing our minds, learning and growing. Then when it is time to immerge from the cocoon those old habits should be left behind as you take wing to fly.
I love the verse from 2 Corinthians that the author used here. We are changed into the image of God from glory to glory by the Spirit which dwells within us.
Here is what Paul meant by his statement from glory to glory…
The first glory is actually the one in which we lived in prior to accepting Christ. The second glory is having the Holy Spirit living within us and our eternal salvation.
How can what we say there was glory prior to our conversion?
Well the ten commandments (old covenant) is that glory. It is glory because it is the law of God, written by him…not man, to the Israelites to adhere to. And even though most of us are not Jewish our moral compass revolves around the ten commandments.
And like stone, which the commandments were written on, wear down and and the laws fade away with time our moral compass can become skewed.
Hence the second glory. Upon accepting Christ the Holy Spirit opened up shop in your life and will silently and sometimes loudly convict you if something is wrong in your life.
And as we grow in the Lord through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are indeed becoming more like Jesus.
Maybe it should say from glory to glory to glory…lol…with our ascent into Heaven being the third glory.
The author also made a very important note when stating that it says renewing your mind…
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 KJV
The renewing of our mind is a daily thing. That is one of the major keys to change!
Exchanging the old with the new. Out goes bad habits that are being replaced with good habits.
We are constantly being transformed/changed in one way or another while on this earth. Either for good or bad!
The choice is always ours.
I choose the good! How about you?