This is a contributor piece written for the Joy of It blog. Read the full article HERE.
A few months back I accompanied my twin daughters along with the rest of their third grade class on a field trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I had plans to explore and engage in hands on experiences, so when we were immediately ushered in to the auditorium to watch a 3D film about butterflies, I was less than thrilled. I didn’t expect what I was about to watch to have such a profound impact on me. My thoughts the rest of the day were tethered to the miraculous transformation that happens in the life cycle of the butterfly. One creature can completely transform into an altogether new being.
As I watched the caterpillar surrender to the process of transformation to become a butterfly, I wanted to find an easy parallel to the transformation possible in the human heart. But, I found that to be difficult. As complex and intricate as the caterpillar turned butterfly may be, we as humans are even more complex. Like with puberty, which happens in humans as we grow older, it’s not optional. We grow and change into more mature and sophisticated versions of ourselves. But, unlike the butterfly, we have not undergone a transformation to something altogether new.
The life cycle of the butterfly reveals a truth about what can happen in our spirit when we meet God and submit to His transforming power. Transformation is not just the next portion of the cycle in our lives, it is a process in which we choose to willingly surrender. Or we can choose to stay the same.
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have heard the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:21-24)
This passage in Ephesians speaks to the power of the Spirit to renew our thoughts and attitudes and invites us to put on our new nature. So how do we do this? First, we have to choose to throw off our old nature, and that can be difficult. We have the promise of transformation through Christ, it is a matter of whether or not we choose to grab hold of it and step into it. Transformation happens when we abide.
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