19 October, 2009 Milt Rodriguez
Transformation is one of the most misunderstood subjects in all of scripture. In our day it is definitely misunderstood by most believers and the that is the reason why there is so little spiritual maturity found among us today. Just our view of transformation alone will determine how we live our "Christian" lives. The problem is that most Christians today have a twisted view of transformation. We all agree that God wants to transform us into His image, the problem arises in the question of how. How does God change us? Or does He even change us?
The most common view of transformation today is that God is in the home improvement business. We are the house and He is the Contractor. Our house is a real mess. It's what you would call a "fixer-upper." Beginning the day that we are saved, God begins His remodeling project to fix us up!
We are coworkers with Him in this project. So this means that we need to help Him in order for this house to be fixed up. He points out problems, and then expects us to do something about it. For example, you've got a leaky pipe in that bathroom, so here's some pipe putty and a wrench; go and fix it!
God is the one who changes us; however, He needs our cooperation for things to actually improve. He is like a Master Carpenter who is walking through our house, inspecting every nook and cranny, and telling us how to fix it. We constantly tell ourselves that this is not self improvement but rather "God improvement," but is that really what is going on here?
Let me give you a practical example so that this will be clearer. Let's say that I have a problem with anger. I get angry easily, lose my temper, and then say things that hurt people. So, the first thing that needs to happen is that I need to realize that I have this problem. God has to point out to me the fact that I have a leaky faucet. He will use my wife, friends, boss, or speak to me directly to show that I need help.
Then, I should read the scripture verses about controlling the tongue. Then, maybe, I should even read a whole book about anger management and controlling the tongue. The, every time I feel myself getting angry I need to count to ten in order to have a "cooling down" period. I need to humble myself, ask God to forgive me, and then obey Him. One of the problems is that every time I get angry again I feel guilty, condemned, and dejected because I have failed God again.
Every year there are conferences, conventions, workshops, and seminars to teach you how to be a better person. Christians have their own programs on how to be a better father, husband, mother wife, business owner, intercessor, minister, pastor, etc. This list seems to go on forever. Every Sunday you hear sermons on how to be a good Christian in seven steps.
The problem is that no one really tells us how to touch this Lord who lives within us. Your transformation does not depend on you! It depends upon the life of God within you. Now, it is true that we must cooperate and yield to the dealings of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. But God is not interested in making us good people. He is not interested in a "home improvement" plan for the old man. He has crucified the old man on the cross! You have died and now your only life is hidden in Christ (see Col. 3:3; Romans 6; Gal. 2:20).
We must first ask ourselves; what is God's goal in transforming us into His image? Why does He desire to do this? What is His purpose in all of this? Without understanding His purpose and goal, we will never truly understand the "process" of transformation. Does God really change us? If so, how does He change us? And what part do we have to play in our transformation? Our fellowship with Him within our internal temple is a very important key to this transformation process.
Excerpt by permission from Milt Rodriguez, from his book, "The Temple Within." Further articles, newsletters, books and audio mp3s may be found at his website, www.therebuilders.org
What insights do you have? What is God's goal for us? How does he transform us from the inside out?