Being conformed isn’t something you choose, it just happens. When you are conforming to the world, you may not even be aware of it. Transformation happens purposefully and supernaturally. Even so, sometimes you are the last one to realize the ways your own transformation has taken place.
I wonder what butterflies sense about themselves when they struggle through theprocess of transformation, leaving their camouflaged cocoon to experience theworld from a totally different perspective. They must notice the thrill of flyingthrough the air, rather than dragging a heavy body from place to place throughthe process of coordinating their many appendages. But do they know how beautifulthey have become? Did they know how they conformed to the world around them before—justblending in? Butterflies are a beautiful illustration of the ugliness of conformitycompared to the beauty of transformation.
Romans 12:1-2 summarizes a very important way to live. Therefore, I urgeyou, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do notconform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed bythe renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’swill is, his good, pleasing and perfect will. [Emphasis mine.]
The litmus test for recognizing that you are being transformed is that you knowhow to test and approve God’s will. You always see God’s will asgood, pleasing and perfect. Who doesn’t want the ability to connect sodeeply with God that they always know and do His will for their lives? This isultimate spiritual beauty. A transformed life is the perfect response to God’smercy, and pleases Him in every way.
In order to have a transforming experience, you’ve got to recognize theways that you are conformed to the world and understand what it takes to be transformed.
How are you conformed to this world? Do you recognize the signs? Since your birthyou have instinctively known how to be conformed to the world. It’s notsomething you learned. It came naturally to you. You have looked to the worldto satisfy your needs. You have been learning the rules of living according tothe world’s promises. Blending in to meet the expectations of others isconformity. Being transformed begins when you renew your mind. You start to believethat your life really isn’t about you. You want to know God and think abouthow He made you to be part of the world, rather than how you can make the worldpart of you.
What stage are you in right now? Are you completely conformed to the world, blendingin with everyone else who is trying to be first in the traffic, in the race forthe raise, in other people’s opinions, like a caterpillar? Have you sloweddown and found yourself in a period of darkness where the belief that gettingwhat you want will make you happy seems the most ignorant thought you could everconceive, as the cocoon stage? Or, are you flying around getting heads spinning,wondering at your beauty because you are finally living out God’s good,pleasing and perfect will? Spiritual transformation has the same impact on youand others as a beautiful butterfly gracing the world. Transformation will bringout your true beauty.