Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2).

What is the most significant character change that the Lord has brought about in you? Both texts above are deeply challenging. When the Bible uses terms like “transformed” we get this picture in our mind of radical, life-altering change. After all, the Greek term translates into “metamorphosis” in English. It essentially means to change the essential form or nature of something. The implication is that we become something completely different than what we are currently. This term used for the transformation of a caterpillar into a moth or butterfly. That is a radical change.

The confusion is when people claim to know Christ for years but experience very little meaningful change. When a person knows the Lord for years and appears to have the same basic character traits with few other significant changes in their character, this feels like a disconnect. How do we distinguish simply human maturity from Spirit shaped transformation. Even unbelievers “grow up” and mature (at least most do). So how does the work of God in us look different than simple human maturity. It provokes us to ask if we have just conformed to a system of moral injunctions but missed the true nature of the Christian life, the inner transformation of the heart.

How long did it take for you to recognize that change? I believe, like normal human maturity, that spiritual maturity can take time. But if we have the divine presence of the Spirit of God in us, would it not make sense to see a more radical transformation? The old proverb, “there is probably significant changes that God is bringing about in me that I just can’t see” is both possible but problematic. I suspect that there is a host of things that God is working out in life (and in our lives) that we are naïve about and ignorant. But this cannot be our core default approach to personal, divine transformation. We end up trusting God for something that rarely is seen, and that is hard on us and our faith. We cannot be encouraged by something that does not appear to be happening (in our own minds) because we simply do not see that change. That being said, if the divine power of the Spirit is seeking to transform us into the image of God’s Son, from “one degree of glory to another,” this would seem to be a different kind of growth, and one that ought to be as clearly seen as if watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly.

How are you seeing this transformation in your own life. Let me clarify, I am not talking about the fingerprints of God at work in our external circumstances. Not that this is unimportant, but we are talking about His divine work inside us, in our heart and mind. We are a people who are in a constant process of transformation, by the working of the Spirit of God in us, to transform us into a reflection of Jesus. This is, by far, the concentration of “Christ in us”.  One of the best motivations for gathering weekly, ought to be for the sheer joy of hearing how God’s grace is active in someone’s life. This might be considered a far more important miracle than any miracle to change our circumstances in life. Christ died to redeem people and He never promises that He will prevent any difficult circumstances from touching our lives. He did promise that difficult circumstances can be used to help transform us (James 1:2-8).


In His transforming hand – Pastor Brad.