Transformation is a part of our Christian walk. It is something that happens from the day that we give our lives to Christ, and continues on until the life of Christ is reflected through us. Which is something we as Christians see little of. There is more of the world in most of us than the life of Christ.
When we look at changing our lives we as Christians often make one of two mistakes. The first is we try to do the work ourselves. All of us have heard sermons about the need for our lives to be different in one way or another. “We need to get the sin out of the camp” was a popular topic and phrase when I was growing up. There are sermons upon sermons which talk about behaviors we have that we shouldn’t, and having behaviors that we cannot seem to have.
Paul wrote in Colossians 3:8 “ Put out of your life these things also: anger, bad temper, bad feelings toward others, talk that hurts people, speaking against God, and dirty talk.” NLV And we push hard to change, which lasts for a little while and then the old behaviors start again and discouragement settles in and the desire to change dissipates. And we have hard working people striving to become better and who usually end up being bitter and judgmental and demanding of changes in others they were not able to make themselves.
The second mistake we make is that all the changes in our lives are God’s doing. And while some of this is true it also falls on us to make the changes. If we simply wait for God to change us we will again be disappointed and become disillusioned with God and Christianity. In the above verse it states that we need to put these things out of your life.
Change begins in our lives when we choose to submit to God and allow Him to take charge of our lives. Without this first level of submission and commitment nothing else happens. As we accept the work of God in us and choose to submit to His reign over us as Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:16 “Live as servants owned by God at all times. ” NLV. In fact several of the apostles in scripture wrote much the same as James did “James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” James 1:1 HCSB
Once we actually stop trying to live our lives our way and we come to submit to the authority and leadership of God the changes in our lives can begin and the grace of God can do it’s job in us. And God can speak to us about the changes we need to make, and then we can decide to put off anger and all the other things God talks to us about and as we decide to obey the power of God enables the change to happen in our lives. And the life of Christ deepens and grows within us. But it all starts with submission. As we choose to release our lives to His control all that we desire to see happen in our lives begins to happen, and the effort and the struggle get replaced with the power and presence of our God.