Friday, September 4, 2015

Irreversible Transformation

     I can't un-learn to play the piano. I could concentrate on being ignorant to my skills but it's impossible. I could try to convince myself "I don't know what to do" but my brain still understands it. I can never go back to not understanding the keys of my piano.

     You can't un-learn to ride a bike***, therefore the expression, "It's just like riding a bike." There are things that we all "just do" because it's impossible to turn off the know-how once we've got it.

     Yesterday, I told a little story about experiencing truth. Today, let's focus on the miracle of the transformation that takes place when understanding and believing truth changes us. Much like the bike, transforming truth is something that once you learn it, you can never go back and un-learn it. The change is complete. Permanent. Actually, when the Bible speaks of being transformed, it's the same word as metamorphosis - A change from one form into a completely different form! Caterpillar to butterfly. A heart of stone to heart of flesh. From dead to alive.

Just as a wooden match, once struck, becomes carbon, it can't go back to being wood. The transformation is complete. Permanent. It's changed from one substance into an entirely different one with new qualities. It is what it is.

So, what about our lives? Why don't we see change? Why do we go back to our defaults? Could it be, perhaps, we haven't fully understood where that transformation comes from? Transformation is supernatural. The biology of the butterfly is miraculous! The
                                                                                   chemistry of the burning match is marvelous!

The metamorphosis of a sinner to saint is God's work. Transformation doesn't come from trying harder. Trying to change is as real as a caterpillar wearing a butterfly costume. Trusting to change is the real deal - from the inside out. Look at this evidence:
     " is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13
     "I am convinced of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
     "After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." 1 Peter 5:10

     Just like salvation, this handiwork isn't a partnership of God and I toiling together. He does the work. I do the trusting. It's the kind of believing (experiential understanding) that I can never un-learn. It completely transforms me. There's no going back. It's the kind of trust that can tell my mind to not worry because "I KNOW whom I have believed in, and am persuaded that He is able." The kind of belief that can put my heart at peace  though I've heard the C-word, cancer. The assurance that I can hope in a God who hears and loves me.

     If you feel stuck in the same rut, striving to change, vowing to never-do-that-again, maybe there's some area of your life that is like that wooden match, just waiting to be struck and ignited, ready to morph into the new. There's no going back once the transformation is real. But it's entirely God's work in you. Remember, the Fruit of the Spirit is NOT a to-do list in our lives. You possess them already if you belong to God. They flow from you but are not produced by you, but by the Spirit. Ask God to help you trust Him in that area of life you're struggling - to trust with your whole heart. He is able!

     "I have been crucified with Christ; and it no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 5:20

Images from

***Just for fun, I'm leaving a link to a cool video about a guy who DID try to unlearn to ride a bike.

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