Recovery through Transformation ~ blog
God’s purpose in saving us is so that He can transform us into more Christ-like believers. This process was jump-started./’ the moment we accepted Christ as Savior and went from being dead in sin and separated from God into being alive in Christ and a permanent member of His Family, adopted as His children.
This process happens when we are filled with and walking in the Spirit. However, the world, our flesh, and demonic forces battle against us. When we become addicted to any type of substance or behavior that leads us deeper into sin, this process is hindered and slowed down. It is like trying to drive with your emergency brake on or turning around and heading in the wrong direction.
The good news is that God is faithful and patient with all of us. He will use discipline when we are walking in the flesh as opposed to us experiencing transformation and the fruit of the Spirit. We should be becoming more like Jesus but instead, we begin to discover how powerful the forces against us are and how much damage they can cause in our lives.
Recovery is NOT Abstaining from Sin
Recovery is Being Transformed by the Spirit
There are three words that the Bible uses to help us understand this process. They are;
- Transfigured – Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2
- Transformed – Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18
- Conformed – Romans 8:29 and 12:2
For the next three days, we are going to look at these three words and discover that really good life that God wants us to experience no matter what our circumstances may be. So, let’s start with the story of Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
In Matthew 17:1-2 we read;
“Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.”
Imagine the shock these 3 men experienced in that moment. In our day of digital modification and things being able to be changed in an instant in the movies, we would not have been shocked because we can see things like this all the time.
However, in a split second and without any warning Jesus is completely changed from how He had always looked, and His face became as bright as the sun and His clothing as white as light. I am guessing the disciples had to shield their eyes and had no idea what was happening. Mark’s account says Jesus’ clothing became “radiant and exceedingly white.”
The word translated “transfigured” is the Greek word metamorphosis. It means going from being one thing to being changed into another thing. Jesus was still Jesus but His form or His being was instantly changed from how He was looking before in living color, into brilliant white light.
These passages give us a context for us to understand the word metamorphosis. It means to be literally changed from one thing into another. We use this word to describe what happens to a caterpillar when it becomes a butterfly.
Our transformation is a work done by the Spirit. However, the transformation will either be helped or hindered by the choices we make. Some of it happens automatically like the moment we are saved and at the moment when our body dies, and we become glorified. However, between these two moments, it is the work of the Spirit in us as we are daily being filled with and walking in the Spirit.
The Spirit transforms us in our hearts and minds. It involves being filled with the Spirit on a daily basis and then deepening our relationship with Christ through learning His Word and living in a community where we can be honest and get help from one another.
As we improve in our consistency of doing spiritual disciplines and living in community with others where we can be completely honest about our sins, we receive help and encouragement from others, and He starts changing us into more Christ-like believers.
So, here is the ultimate result of walking in the Spirit … we begin to see changes in our behavior and instead of experiencing increasingly deeper levels of sin and the pain that brings … we begin to experience the fruit of the Spirit which are …
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”
Tomorrow we will look at how this fruit develops and grows in our lives as we practice “walking in the Spirit” instead of giving in to the desires of the flesh.