I have been studying the whole process of making disciples for many years and this thought recently came to me. How much of this is me and how much of this is God? Romans 8:29 (NLT) says that “he (God) chose them (his people) to become like his Son”. The NIV uses the words “conform to the image of his Son.” Before and after my decision to follow Jesus, I need to choose to obey. I need to change my mind and heart and mold my character to conform to become like Jesus. This is God’s will. This is how I show God I love him.
Then I read Romans 12:2 – ”Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” I can work on the renewing my mind part. Knowing his Word, worshipping through music, prayer, etc. But I honestly want to be transformed. As I look at the verb in the Greek language, the word used for “transformed” is in the passive tense. This means that this is something that is done to me. I do not control the transforming part… He does.
The meaningful part, to me, is that I still have to grind out a big effort on my own, to choose to conform and to turn away from things that are not godly. I need to change my focus by not conforming to the standards or logic of this world. Conforming to the image of the Son of God is only my effort; I will only get out what I put into it.
The beautiful part of it is this, I think “transformed” in the passive tense, is the work of God blessing my diligence to pursue Him. I cannot do this myself. I can and have to do my part which is learning to be like Jesus. But God will transform me. He will push me at warp speed when I have proven to Him that I love Him enough to submit and obey.
Over years of ministry, I have talked with many people wanting to become a Christian. Many of them have a hangup about becoming a Christian because they have habits they don’t want to give up. What they don’t realize is that this is where the transformation comes in. When you start conforming, the Holy Spirit starts transforming. Before you know it, those habits start to fade away. But it does necessitate the conforming, seeking His righteousness.
I want to thank Dann Spader for impacting my life through this Reset 2 Tour: Making Disciples. The teachings about Jesus that I have learned have helped my spiritual life grow! I love what the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author/originator and perfecter of our faith.” Heb. 12:2.
The Reset 2 Tour begins again this May. To see dates and locations, click on the button below. Every Reset 2 date features 4 hours of great teaching, lunch and includes a copy of Dann Spader’s book, 4 Chair Discipling!