Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer 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.”
This is a popular verse, usually referenced with respect to steering away from sinful thoughts and behaviors, and to be in the world, but not of the world. But as I was considering this verse recently, I saw a new twist about being transformed and my curiosity was peaked.
The word “transformation” comes from the Greek word μεταμόρφωσις, which means, metamorphosis. In my opinion, the term metamorphosis more clearly describes what God means when he tells us to be transformed through His power. You see, when something experiences metamorphosis, it completely changes, on the inside and the outside. Once something has morphed from its old state, into its new state, that change is obvious to everyone.
An example of a true metamorphosis would be an insect that completely changes its biological structure. For instance, what starts out as a tiny larvae, turns into a worm, then builds a cocoon, and emerges as a butterfly. The insect completely changed from one state to another, from the inside out.
That is what Romans 12:2 is encouraging us to do in Christ – to allow Him to change us completely. Not partially. Not just the areas that we dont mind changing. Not just the things that we wanted to change. But completely. So that He can create His masterpiece in us, even when we cannot see what He is building, just as I talked about in today’s Proverbs 31 Devotion.
A 19th century German philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche was best known for his statement “God is dead”. The death of God movement in the sixties is sometimes technically referred to as “theothanatology” and promotes the belief that humans are no longer able to believe in any supernatural order since they themselves no longer recognize it – which basically means, that since there was no evidence that peoples lives and hearts were changing as a result of their belief in God, then He must certainly be dead.
Obviously to me, and anyone else who claims Jesus as the only Savior of the world, this is an extremely blasphemous, offensive statement, and a grossly false assumption, because we know and believe that the Holy Trinity is alive and well.
However, did Nietzsche have a point with his underlying comment that if you cant see real life change in people who claim to believe in God, then God must not really be present in their lives? I think he did.
You see, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, and commit to living a life that brings glory to Him, we are called to a radical transformation – not just one that we claim, but one that people can see happening in us.
This act of transformation begins with God rebuilding our heart from lost to saved, our mind from sinful to righteous, and then our life from mundane to purposeful.
When we truly undergo a radical transformation of the heart, mind and soul, our outward behaviors and actions will become a new creation, obvious to all who see us. So if we say we are in Christ, but there is no metamorphosis occurring in our life, are we really transformed?
People are usually not impressed by looking at an ugly gray cocoon, but are always impressed by the beauty and splendor of a butterfly when it emerges from that cocoon. Of course our goal for transformation through Christ is not to impress anyone, but our goal should be for others to see the beautiful transformation that has happened within us.
When people see physical evidence of what an invisible God is building in our lives, only then will they be interested in discovering Christ for themselves.
Even though we have no idea what He may be building, we can always have faith that it will be a masterpiece, just as we told in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. “
When God builds something beautiful, people notice.
How might God be transforming you, or building you, into something new?