Do you believe in transformation? Do you believe in your own transformation, the kind that shifts something inside of you, makes you new, sets you free?
Hey Bethel family, this is Sarah Landon, and we’re talking about transformation today. We serve a God who is a God of transformation. It is His business to change hearts, make dead things come alive, and embody transformation in a world where He is otherwise invisible.
I have a challenge for us today. Yield. Yield to God’s transformation in your life. “Ohh!” You might say, “That sounds pretty easy, passive even.” Well, I suppose it’s passive like allowing someone to do surgery on you without anesthesia is passive. So yeah, it’s totally passive.
See, if we are going to expect to see transformation of hearts in the Tri-Cities and the Lower Valley, I believe we need to practice what we preach. “But Sarah,” you say, “I’m saved, I read my Bible, I serve at church!” Praise God, and thank you for your faithfulness. You’ve already experienced transformation in your life and we have every reason to celebrate that. But our faith is an ongoing faith with a God who is living and active. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul tells the Corinthian church, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” That verb for being transformed is a continuous, ongoing kind of process. Not, “I was transformed this one time,” but, “I am in the transformation process.”
Jesus even taught that transformation is hard. My women’s Bible study group is currently reading through Luke and we recently read about wineskins in Luke 5:37-38.
Basically in that day, they used actual skin from goats or sheep to make a bag that would hold wine. At the beginning it’s pliable, and the wine is fermenting, so it’s able to stretch a little to account for the fermentation process. The wine and the wineskin both age, the wine becoming more delicious, and the wineskin becoming more brittle. If you put new wine that needs flexibility in an old, brittle wineskin, it’s going to burst and make a huge mess. So Jesus says in a parable:
“…no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
My friends, we can be those wineskins. When we get comfortable in our routines, and our ways, transformation gets harder and harder. I’m becoming familiar with this because I have a teenager and I’m feeling my age. I think God knows that at about the point as an adult you feel like you’ve got a pretty good thing going, all of a sudden you’re faced with another human who thinks they have the world figured out, possibly in stark contrast to the things you hold so dear. I’m discovering the ways of thinking and mindsets that have served me well are being challenged. I’m trying to take those things to God’s Word to make sure that I’m not just responding with platitudes but with real truth.
I’m feeling like an old wineskin. I have become comfortable, inflexible. I like my delicious, old wine. It’s good!
I have been convicted lately that as my ways of thinking are challenged, am I yielding to the work God wants to do in my heart? Am I coming as a child, ready to learn something new, ready to allow my thinking to align more closely with the mind of Jesus, even when that feels like open heart surgery? It helps keep me humble, open to reason, and full of grace to myself and others. Mostly because I can see what an idiot I’ve been and how gracious God has been to me despite the fact.
We are in the midst of a world that will challenge our thinking. Sometimes that’s a good thing. As long as we’re going back to the truth, wrestling with it, and yielding to God’s truth as it transforms our minds.
Would you join me in prayer?
God, we celebrate your power that transforms. We praise you for the work you’ve already done in our hearts. We repent of our pride, our brittleness, our desire to seek comfort in routines and not in you. Would you take our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, a new, beating, fresh heart? We yield to your calling on our life, we yield to your truth, we yield to transformation as you do your miracles in our hearts and minds. Amen.