I like “great experience” as much as the next person. It is always wonderful when a great “epiphany” moment occurs in life and you leap forward in your growth and knowledge as a person. Epiphanies are often used to bring us to a point of change…..an experience that not only is “felt” but changes the way we think and live in a fundamental way.
As a fellow passenger and observer in life, I’ve also seen people begin to chase transformation through experience. What I mean is this: some people go from one place to another seeking an experience that will provide a fundamental transformation needed to make life better. You’ve seen it – going from one meeting to the next, endless listening to and reading the latest “revelation”……….all in an attempt to bring about an experience that will cause life to change.
Romans 12:1-2 describes the transformation process:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
There are a couple of things that I would like to point out about transformation in this verse:
- Transformation comes through total submission to Christ. Many people don’t trust God enough to present their lives as a sacrifice. But the scripture says that because of God’s mercies, we can give ourselves to Him. He will deal with us out of His love and desire for what is best for us. But, to see true transformation, we must be willing to have our understanding adjusted. Due to control issues and a lack of trust in anyone, this is the point at which many stumble.
- Transformation comes through a process called “the renewal of the mind”. This means that your mind is taken, in its current state, and it is changed through the process of the confrontation of lies and the establishment of truth. Notice the word “process”. An epiphany will occur now and then during this process but they usually don’t happen through our continuous struggle but through our submission to the place and process of God.
I’m a believer in transformation through discipleship. I believe that if I put down roots in the place that God tells me to and if I seek Him daily with all my heart; reading His word and spending time with Him, transformation will occur in my life without me seeking it through experience. In this scenario, my life becomes an “experience” of transformation through living day by day with an exceptional Christ.
People who seek transformation through experience often remind me of a potted plant rather than a planted tree. Potted plants are moved from one “hot spot” to another in an effort to see them grow, yet their potential for growth is inherently limited due to the fact that they are not planted. You grow best if you are planted, enduring the seasons with grace and humility.
Psalm 1 describes this type of transformation:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Get into the place that God has for you and put down roots and begin to grow. No farmer plants a seed on Saturday and goes out Sunday and is disappointed because they see no growth. Growth is a process that happens through nurture and resistance.
Potted plants have limited potential but a tree planted by living water will provide shade for generations!