Romans 12:1-2 -« I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. » (KJV)
I remember as I prepared for the Daniel Fast of 2015 the Lord spoke clearly to me saying: « Son, the place where I want to take you, you cannot go in the condition you are in. You can stay as you are, but you will never know the full potential that I put in you. » The (French) book, A Transformed Life, was the result of that encounter.
I have been on a journey of growth ever since. During the calendar year of 2019 the church hired a personal coach for me to assist me in that process. I am convinced that we would not be ready to purchase our building, let alone conceive of a greater building to build in its place, if I had not pressed in to growing myself in God.
How many potentially great future brain surgeons have never taken up the scalpel because they were too afraid to fail their exams? How many possibly great entrepreneurs never created the ideal company, simply because they feared losing their security? How many conceivably great buildings were never built for the kingdom of heaven because pastors were too immature for the task? How many opportunities have slid like water between your fingers because you were not yet ready to seize them?
Paul says that we « prove what the will of God is » by being transformed through the renewing of our minds. The Greek word translated as « transformed » is the word metamorphosis. This is the word used to describe the change from a caterpillar into a butterfly. If you put the two creatures side by side, they look very different, even though they have the exact same DNA.
In the same way, there is the « true » you who stands in the presence of the Lord. This is the identity that is made in the truth of God. But that identity struggles with the « old » you to see who will be master of your mind.
Personal growth always begins in the realm of the soul when we embrace the identity that God has made for us in Christ. So as we begin this second week of the Daniel Fast, I encourage you to take some time and on the lines bellow, describe the new you: What is the character you have? What are the strengths you have? What is the level of influence you have? And what are the gifts you have? Having a clear picture of the true you in Christ will help you reach out to become that person.
Two other passages really spoke to my heart this morning as well : « For you have died, and YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN with Christ in God. When Christ WHO IS YOUR LIFE appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, and have PUT ON THE NEW SELF which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. » (Col. 3:3-10)
« Put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and PUT ON THE NEW MAN that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.(Eph. 4:22-24). In the same way we remove our pyjamas to get dressed for the day, we should make it a DAILY habit of removing the « old man » and putting on the « new man! »