Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12: 2)
Why do we struggle so much with the change process? Do we really know God's plan for change? I do know that godly women are frustrated with things we want to change about ourselves and our lives. We all share in this all too human struggle!
Here are some specific and common areas of human struggle:
Will my husband and I ever be able to communicate without tapping into each other's stuff?
Will these weight issues ever come under control?
Can I find the discipline to exercise, keep my house clean, do devotionals with the kids?
Will I ever be the calm, sweet nurturing Mom I always hoped to be?
Will I be able to cope with the relationships I struggle with?
Will my family get out of debt?
Will I ever overcome issues of anger/jealousy/resentment/low self-esteem/insecurity/pride
This list goes on and on…
Hopelessness Reveals a Lie
Any area in my life where I feel hopeless is an area where I'm believing a lie about myself, God, or others. God doesn't simply promise to fix me up, make me a little more presentable, or take off the rough edges that I so desperately need taken off. He promises a brand-new, “never been seen before” me. This version of "me" is not helped along by self help and determination. This "me" is a result of a touch of the Holy Spirit on my mind, will, and emotions. That touch from the Holy Spirit is part of my inheritance in Christ as seen in the following verses:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor. 5:17)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:16-20)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
The Greek word for transform in the Romans 12 passage cited above is the same word used to describe Jesus' transfiguration in Matthew 17:2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. I think we need to pause and think about this promise we have in Christ! Jesus is promising we'll be transfigured in a way that starts on the inside and works its way out so others can actually see it. We need to be astonished at our inheritance in Christ or we may just breeze right past these verses with a ho-hum attitude.
Both transform and transfigure come from the same Greek root word: metamorphoo.**Our English word metamorphosis is also from that Greek word; it describes the amazing transformational transfiguration that a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. We're being changed from glory to glory in accordance with an inner reality!
What Is the Inner Reality that Transforms Me?
The fact that I can be completely transformed into a brand-new creation is predicated on the truth that resides within me: The mystery of all the ages, Christ is being formed IN me, and that's my hope of glory…Christ in me (Colossians 1:27). I don't know about you, but I love mysteries… Really love them! My way of relaxing is watching the mysteries on PBS like Foyle's War, Endeavor, and others. I recently did a Bible study on the word mystery. and I was reminded that God loves mysteries, too. One of my favorite praise songs is, I'm Counting on God, by Desperation Band. Part of the lyric says, "the miracle of Christ in me is the mystery that sets me free!" That sincerely makes my heart jump because I know that regardless of any stuckness I may be experiencing there is a miracle and a mystery ready to free me. And whom the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36)
So why am I not transformed and living in my renewed mind instead of my old dead crucified self? <<Click to Tweet
There are many obstacles to our transformation process; as you've guessed, the problem lies within ourselves. Next month I'm going to look at the renewed mind and how offense and other hindrances can slow down the changes we so desire.
** [From Strong's Concordance; transfigure and transform come from the same Greek word: metamorphoo 3339. Our English word metamorphosis comes from this root word and it means "changed after being with" (meta 3326) and "changing form in keeping with inner reality" (morphoo 3445).]
Susanne Ciancio, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Christian Counselor. She has been serving the Christian community as a professional Christian counselor in Essex county and the surrounding area since 1986. Beyond her private practice in West Orange, NJ she is involved in teaching, consulting, and pastoral supervision in various churches in the area. Click here for Susanne's website.
EDITORS NOTE: While Susanne can’t answer specific counseling-related questions, she welcomes your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about what kinds of topics you’d like to see addressed here at Circles of Faith. Click here to contact us.