Summary: Many people fail to enjoy the blessings of God because they misunderstand the nature of spiritual transformation. Before his conversion, Paul’s prejudice blinded him to what is true, eternal and liberating. Some people stagnate in their transformational g
1. Many people fail to enjoy the blessings of God because they misunderstand the nature of spiritual transformation. Before his conversion, Paul’s prejudice blinded him to what is true, eternal and liberating. Some people stagnate in their transformational growth because they are fixated on fulfilling some duty, expectation or desire.
Paul, before his conversion, mistook his opinions for eternal truth and became so opposed to anyone who opposed him. Do not become so obsessed with your own viewpoint that you are not open to all the ways that God uses circumstances and people to bring about your transformation into Christ likeness.
Application: Do not grow discouraged when people refuse to listen to what you have to say about Christâs transforming truth. People may not listen but they will continue to look at the transformations in your life. Eventually, individuals, organizations and even opponents will ask you,
"How can I experience the same blessings you enjoy?" Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men that they can see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Application: Ask the Lord to give you more of a teachable, humble and discerning heart so that you can help others enjoy the benefits of a transformation.
2. Paul’s transformation required a confrontation with God. Some people are so hard headed that they have to be struck over the head with a two by four before they are ready to listen to God. However, many people do not require such a dramatic setback before they submit to God’s transforming power.
The majority of people sin in more covert ways and subtle ways: selfish indulgence, gossip, fear, anger, clamor, disputing, laziness, stubbornness, complacency or quiet rebellion. Jesus said,
"If you are not for Me, you are against me." Do not think that because God has yet to take you through a Damascus road experience that you are in any less need of transformation.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you teach people how they are in constant need of the transforming ministry of the Holy Spirit.
3. Continual transformation requires a clear understanding of God’s total purposes for your life. Paul explained that he pressed on so that he may lay hold of that which he was "apprehended for by Christ Jesus". (Phil. 3:12)
Application: Do not fall short of God’s highest purpose for your life because of a lowering of your own expectations. Trust God to help you press forward toward the maximization of Godâs transforming work in and through you.
4. Paulâs total submission in all areas of his mind, will and emotions were required to experience the best fruits of the Spirit’s transformation. Agitation, irritation or a vexation may be required to smooth away the rough edges of your personality.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to continually discipline yourself to have a daily devotional time to keep all of lifeâs irritations in proper perspective.
5. Paul’s sudden transformation and response is unusual. Most people experience a more gradual transformation as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in their mind and heart.