A caterpillar does not merely grow wings.
When (or if) you become a Christian, something happens to your spirit – the real you – which is more than just a just transformation. It is not like ‘turning over a new leaf’ or just deciding to try to be a better person. What happens when a person is born again, is something akin to how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. In the case of a butterfly, the butterfly is somehow the same creature that was once a caterpillar, and yet it is now also completely different. 2 Corinthians 5:17 in The Living Bible describes what happens to us in this way, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” We are, somehow, the same person; whilst at the same time we are also a brand new person – a seeming impossibility, and yet it is true. A caterpillar does not merely grow wings, the caterpillar is totally & irreversibly changed and like the caterpillar, we too have been totally recreated.
A transformation is required.
However, our souls (which consist of our mind, will and emotions) are not changed. A transformation is required, but it does not happen automatically. The processprocess of transforming our minds requires effort on our part. Romans 12:2 says, “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“. The J.B. Phillips version translates the same verse as, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity“. But how does this happen? How do we renew our minds? What is the process involved? Look at what God said through the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 18:1-6 (The Message), “I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. Then God’s Message came to me: “Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?” God’s Decree! “Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel”“. It is God who will change, renew and transform our minds; but it is us who must initiate the process each day.
It is a process that is absolutely vital.
The process is actually very simple and yet it takes diligence to carry it out. Joshua 1:8 on the New International Reader’s Version gives a very good description of how to renew your mind: “Never stop reading this Book of the Law. Day and night you must think about what it says. Make sure you do everything written in it“. Let me summarise it in three steps:
- Read the Bible daily – the more the better
- Think about & ponder what you have read
- Put what you have read into practice
This is an ongoing process, which will carry on throughout our lives. It is a process that is absolutely vital, if we are to progress in the Christian walk and it involves learning an entirely new way of thinking. If you are a Christian who has made excuses (or if you like, had reasons) why you have not read your Bible on a daily basis, start now. You may find my post, ‘The Bible – What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing or Absolutely Everything‘, of interest.
It requires a daily dose of God’s Word for our minds to really be changed.
Failing to make any progress with the process of transformation, or renewing of their minds, is the reason that many Christians live and act in ways that are hardly discernible from those in the world. This should not be the case, we are supposed to stand out, Deuteronomy 28:10 in the Common English Bible says, “All the earth’s peoples will see that you are called by the Lord’s name, and they will be in awe of you“. That is not going to happen if the biggest thing that sets you apart is that you go to church on Sundays. Going to church is vitally important, as is finding the right church to go to (see, “What To Look For In A Church“); but no matter how good your church is, your mind will not be renewed if Sundays are the only time that you receive from the Word of God. We live in this world 24/7 and so it requires a daily dose of God’s Word for our minds to really be changed.
I will end today by giving you Romans 12:2, this time from the Easy to Read Version, to meditate on: “Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you“.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.