Summary: 1 of 10 of the series, Supernatural Transformation. There is a transformation that has already taken place instantaneously in the life of the believer - but there is also a process of supernatural transformation God wants every person to undergo. This me
LET THE CHANGE BEGINPart 1 of the Supernatural Transformation Series
READ AT BEGINNING OF SERVICE:
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 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; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
James Calvert (1813-1892) was a zealous missionary to cannibals on the Fiji Islands. His faithful work bore fruit in the lives of those accustomed to taking the life of others. Years later and English earl visited the Fiji Islands and was critical of a chief’s conversion to Christianity. "You’re a great leader but it’s a pity you’ve been taken in by those foreign missionaries. No one believes the Bible anymore. People are tired of the threadbare story of Christ dying on a cross for the sins of mankind. They know better now. I’m sorry you’ve been so foolish as to accept their story."
The old chief responded with a gleam in his eyes, "See that great rock overt there? On it we smashed the heads of our victims. Notice the furnace next to it. In that oven we formerly roasted the bodies of our enemies. If it hadn’t been for those good missionaries and the love of Jesus that changed us from Cannibals into Christians, you’d never leave this place! You’d better thank the Lord for the gospel, otherwise we’d already be feasting on you. If it weren’t for the Bible and its salvation message, you’d now be our supper!" (quoted in Autoillustrator.com , "SPIRITUAL GRATITUDE" from, Kindred Spirit, Volume 16, Number 1, p. 6)The transformation that took place in the lives of these former Cannibals was truly amazing and yet was not easily appreciated by the English earl at first glance. And yet, I’m sure that this earl’s opinion of Christianity was affected a little bit by what the Chief had to say.
The Christian is truly a demonstration of a transformed life. And yet, for some Christians the transformation doesn’t really seem all that obvious and hence the appreciation of it decreases. We must realize that God’s desire is that all would not only have a supernatural transformation take place in their lives but also that this transformation would be noticed.
Max Lucado starts his book, Just Like Jesus with a question that poses much to think about – I’d like to read a few paragraphs from his introduction,
What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you?
What if, for twenty-four hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, assumes your schedule? Your boss becomes his boss, your mother becomes his mother, your pains become his pains? With one exception, nothing about your life changes. Your health doesn’t change. Your circumstances don’t change. Your schedule isn’t altered. Your problems aren’t solved. Only one change occurs.
What if , for one day and one night, Jesus lives your life with his heart? Your heart gets the day off, and your life is led by the heart of Christ. His priorities govern your actions. His passions drive your decisions. His love directs your behavior.
What would you be like? Would people notice a change? Your family – would they see something new? Your coworkers—would they sense a difference? What about the less fortunate? Would you treat them the same? And your friends? Would they detect more joy? How about your enemies? Would they receive more mercy from Christ’s heart than from yours?
And you? How would you feel? What alterations would this transplant have on your stress level? Your mood swings? Your temper? Would you sleep better? Would you see sunsets differently? Death differently? Taxes differently? Any chance you’d need fewer aspirin or sedatives? How about your reaction to traffic delays? (Ouch, that touched a nerve.) Would you still dread what you are dreading? Better yet, would you still do what you are doing?
Would you still do what you had planned to do for the next twenty-four hours? Pause and think about your schedule. Obligations. Engagements. Outings. Appointments. With Jesus taking over your heart, would anything change?
Keep working on this for a moment. Adjust the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life, then snap the shutter and frame the image. What you see is what God wants. He wants you to "think and act like Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5)
(Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus, p.1-2)
God wants a transformation to take place in your lives – and this isn’t just any ordinary transformation. This is a transformation that is supernatural in nature. Something that cannot occur naturally.