This month’s theme on the blog is transformation, or the transforming power of God through Jesus Christ. So, early one morning, I emerged from our camper with my pipe, coffee, and notebook to spend some time with the Lord. In the dawning of the new day, amidst the smoke and fragrance of my tobacco, I turned my attention to the Lord with the thought of transformation…
“What do You have to say about transformation, Lord?” I asked. A moment later, I spied from the corner of my eye, a tiny caterpillar crawling along the ground. I thought it peculiar until I realized what the caterpillar represented: transformation.
“Transformation is a death and resurrection. The old is gone and the new is come.”
It resonated in my spirit so loudly and so clearly. It was one of those “I knew that, but now I know it afresh” moments. Transformation is a death and resurrection. So, what does that mean to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2)? Could it be the death of old mindsets and the resurrection of the New Mindset?
“Do not be conformed to this world…”
The caterpillar crawling on the ground represents being conformed to this world. The caterpillar is bound to this world, as he can only and ever crawl along the ground. Everything he is and does is conformed to the confines of this world. He eats of this world, moves of this world, and thinks from this world. His actions and thoughts are all earthbound. This is the old.
“…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
Let this world with all of its ways of doing things and its thoughts and its mindsets die. It all belongs to this world, not His world. (See what happens there? You have His world, but then you add something to it, and it becomes this world. It’s not His anymore.) So,what does the caterpillar do? He dies. He puts to death his earthbound ways and surrenders his own life. I imagine without others of his kind, he would go to his “death” a little fearful. How would he know what the other side looks like? But with others of his kind who have emerged on the other side, they can encourage and comfort him. They can set the evidence of a resurrected, full, and abundant life.
“…so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The butterfly fluttering about the sky represents being transformed by the renewing of your mind. The butterfly is no longer bound to this world, as he can soar among the heavenly places. Everything he is and does is now changed to be of a heavenly, or higher, mindset. He sees things from a different perspective, a heavenly perspective. He can now prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, because he now has the mind of Christ. He has a renewed, transformed mind. He now eats of the heavenly places (Christ), moves of the heavenly places (Christ), and thinks from the heavenly places (Christ). All his actions and thoughts are heavenbound. This is the new.
And do you see between the lines? The will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, is not of this world. If we are to prove what the will of God is, and not be conformed to this world, then God’s will (and way) is not of this world. We can’t prove it so long as we continue to crawl about this world. It’s not until we fly among the heavenlies that we can hope to know and prove His will. His thoughts are not our (the world’s) thoughts, nor are His ways our (the world’s) ways (Isaiah 55:8). We have to have the New Mindset to be able to know His thoughts and ways. His are not of the old mindsets.
For example, in Bridget’s A Tale of Two Ships, the old mindsets from the first ship had to die so the people could learn the New Mindset of living on the second ship. In Richard’s Communication Breakdown, he suggests building the bridge to understanding one another with love and fixing our eyes on Christ (New Mindset) instead of with “all that’s wrong with the church today” (old mindsets). And in Donna’s Are We Seeing Who Jesus Christ Really Is?, she testifies of many of the different and wonderful ways Jesus has transformed her from her old mindsets to the New Mindset.
So, as one of your kind who continually goes through a death and resurrection of a lot of stuff, especially mindsets, please allow me to encourage you to not be afraid. The death is not the end. Notice God didn’t end with “Transformation is a death.” He ends with “and resurrection.” Praise God for His resurrection life! The other side of transformation is soaring with Him in the heavenly places. Let the old be gone, and let the new come. Let’s live in the resurrection.