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And mind you, the Greek word used in the New Testament for transformed and transfigure is the same: metamorphoo. It's also the same with the term metamorphosis. And here we picture out an ugly caterpillar enclosed in a cocoon to undergo radical transformation, turning the ugly caterpillar into a completely different creature. A completely different beautiful creature!
Unless You Cease
Unless this happens to you, you can never access your full God-given potentials. How wonderful are these potentials? The Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing what you can be---a "foretaste" of your potentials. You get a good idea of what it is all about there, with that Deposit. Imagine that. If the Holy Spirit is a deposit, think of what its fulfillment is.
Thus, don't be fooled by "changes" that are ordinary, something that happens to other people as well. Like changing from a smoker to a non-smoker. That's good, but that is ordinary. Therapy and psychiatry can also do that. We're talking of transformation that is not seen in the world, which the world cannot produce. Something close to supernatural transfiguration.
Paul put it this way---he had died. He no longer lived, but Christ lived in him. Smokers who undergo treatment and rehabilitation cannot say the same thing. Yes, they may have been rehabilitated, but they didn't die and have Christ live in them literally, 100 percent. So, if you just changed from bad to good, that's good, but that's NOT it yet. If before, you cursed a lot but now you don't anymore, that's good. But transformation in Christ is more than that. It's more than being good.
It is ceasing to live and Jesus taking over your life in your stead and living it radically in you.
World-Class You Must Die
You see, the you that you see today is a product of how the world have molded you ever since. And it's sad how many professing born-agains remain to be their old self. The only difference is that they now attend a Christian church where they participate actively and they call themselves "Christians." But nothing's really changed. You may be involved in "ministry" and "evangelism," but it's still the same world-class you, the you that the world molded.
You're the same, old ugly caterpillar because you hate (or fear) going inside your spiritual cocoon. Cocoon is a dark, narrow, lonely place where nothing seems to happen. Church activeness have no meaning there. There's no extra space for nonsense baggage. You alone fit in it---pretty much like a grave. You die there---to be exact, your ego dies there. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it's useless.
Cocoon is where you lose everything. All your former self goes. Your past gets deleted. Your value system, your trophies, your achievements, your fame, your pride, your religion, your possessions---everything the world has given you and has put in you (particularly the Babylon mindset and system) must go. This is what most church people hate, so they try to skip the cocoon and go straight to church activities, programs and ministries. You cannot serve God and be full of yourself.
In the cocoon, you spend long quiet times with God alone. There, your old self dies and God forms Christ in you. You are so radically changed. Christ becomes your new self as you meditate the Word of God. Your old character is deleted and the fruit of the Spirit is downloaded. You don't grow "little by little" in the cocoon. You become a new creation there. All the old is past and the new one comes. It is not through your efforts. God does everything.
When you come out of the cocoon (you have to come out some time. The cocoon is not designed to be your home forever), you cease being and looking a caterpillar. You become a full fledged butterfly---so radically different from what you were before. Before you crawled, now you fly.
The transformation is mostly in the mind. "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind." It is there it all starts---character, attitude, values system, culture, priorities, tendencies, insight, perspective, disposition, acumen, preferences, taste, etc. When the mind is radically transformed, the body follows. Among other things, your mind begins to rule your body. You submit the body to what the mind thinks is right---and we have the mind of Christ if we're radically transformed.
Thus, a transformed mind becomes conscious about physical health as well, not just spiritual. It starts to eat correctly and healthily---something a lot of Christians and church leaders are not aware of. The mind will urge the body to exercise regularly. Righteousness is not just spiritual. It is physical, emotional, intellectual, social and financial. In many ways, the physical sometimes determines the spiritual condition, and vice versa. Many pastors are sick with deadly diseases due to unhealthy eating practices and lifestyles. They still eat as the world does. Their poor health often affects their character, and thus their spirituality.
God sternly warns: "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who destroys God's temple, God will destroy him."
If you have the mind of Christ (totally and radically transformed), you begin to see money differently as well. Even rich and poor people. You also develop an entirely different (and strange) values system where the least to you is the greatest, and those who think they are great are the least. You prefer to be outside the limelight and stay low profile, quietly doing the will of the Lord. Hence, that mindset alters your values system in finances, your social life, your mindset and emotions.
You have put on your new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness.
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