Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Commit to Transformation
… a new beginning!
Terry R. Baughman
“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” (Romans 12:2).
The New Birth is more than the adoption of New Year’s resolutions. Rather, it’s the beginning, the launch of much more that is to come. A natural birth is the beginning of life, but it is just a moment of entry into a long journey of growth, development, and change. Call it maturity or curse it as aging, but the end result is the same. Life is a process of change.
The process of change after the experience of the New Birth is transformation, the regeneration of life in a person that was initially birthed under the curse of sin and death. Spiritual rebirth comes in an instant, a miraculous and momentous event, but the necessary process of transformation is voluntary. Becoming shaped in the image of Jesus Christ is the choice offered to every believer. One must choose to walk the path of spiritual renewal. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
The prescription for new life is simple: Follow Jesus. Forsake the past. Enroll in His plan of discipleship. Commit to the process of transformation.
Transformation always happens in the present. Yesterday is past. Any opportunity for change has passed into history. Tomorrow is yet without promise and beyond our reach. Today is the only time you have. The present is our only option for alteration. Make a commitment to each new day to fulfill every opportunity and seize each moment for its transformative potential. This is our moment. Take it.
Present steps will result in permanent patterns for the future. The fluid forward motion taken today will congeal into positive behaviors shaping future outcomes. The process of transformation is dependent upon the power of the Spirit, but requires our resolve to reset our focus and commit to what Christ is working out in our lives.
Our God is identified in Scripture as the “I AM.” He is the ever present, ever active force in our lives. When we are led of the Spirit, God is present in the process. He did not give us New Life to become static Christians, staid in past experience and cemented in a past relationship with God. His purpose is to move along with us, ever changing, ever leading us forward, upward, and onward in a dynamic relationship with Him as we are being transformed into His image. Paul revealed that, “The Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17–18). Christ’s work in every believer is to bring us into greater relationship and deeper understanding of the ways of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pursue His purpose with passion, submit our lives to His shaping, molding and leading. His paths are not always pleasant, but His way is always perfect. Embrace the process and commit to His transformation.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).