roadblocks to transformation
Paul explained the Christian life as a journey of transformation to become the exact image of the glory of God. Before we are perfected in the presence of God in heaven, we are BEING perfected and transformed even now. And for an excellent reason.
God is transforming us because of His extravagant love for us. He has made us His children, His heirs. He loves us so much that He wants us not to have to wait for the gold streets and pearly gates. He wants us to begin to enjoy the freedom and position that comes from being a child of a King–the one true King.
But it doesn’t come without struggle. We aren’t in heaven, and we encounter the world’s darkness that distracts, confuses, and hinders our transformation. It is why we are given warnings and instructions to
not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…. (Rom. 12:2)
The world and the things of the world are vital in stalling spiritual transformation.
1 John 2:15-17 gives us three roadblocks to watch out for when leaning into the transformative work our adopted heavenly Father is offering us.
"For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life--is not form the Father but is from the world."--1 John 2:16
- The desires of the flesh–seeking to satisfy legitimate desires in illegitimate ways. We put the focus on ourselves and boost our emotions and experiences as more consequential than anything else.
- The desire of the eyes–the temptation of the mind through what we see. Sounds like comparison to me. The hunger for what we see outside our person includes the attraction of material goods like beautiful clothes and perfect homes.
- The pride of life–living to impress others. It is the boasting of what you have or what you do (I’m looking at you, social media feed). The pride of life is the desire for momentary glory that comes from other people esteeming you.
The world’s ways are right in front of us, and our attention and focus are easily fixed on comparison and compromise. But we must remember, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.” (Prov. 16:25)
This world is temporary. It is currently passing away. But you’re not.
God loves you enough to invite you into His transformative work now. Not everyone will embrace it because it interferes with the life in the darkness and because it requires faith to let go of our grasp on the old even if it is in exchange something entirely new.
Leaning in to transformation means we confess the desires of our flesh, the desires of our eyes, and the pride of life and take on the identity as a daughter. Chosen, valued, and loved.