‘The essence of Christian faith has come to us in story form, the story of a God who will go to any lengths to get his family back. The Bible tells us of flawed people, people just like me who make shockingly bad choices and yet still find themselves pursued by God. As they receive grace and forgiveness, naturally they want to give it to others, and a thread of hope and transformation weaves its way throughout the Bible accounts.’ Philip Yancey
What the Bible calls transformation is found in these two verses
“Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17,18 Berean Study Bible).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 Berean Study Bible).
The word transformation according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means ‘a complete or major change in someone or somethings appearance, form, etc.’ This gives us a basic definition of transformation as a kind of change. Followers of Christ see transformation as not merely cleaning up our act, imitating godly behavior or trying to live by a set of rules and regulations. Adjusting our behavior to look more like Christ is like applying external makeup. Our inward condition remains the same. Christianity is not about behavior modification but heart transformation. It’s not imitation God desires, it’s impartation He desires. In the original Greek language of the New Testament ‘transformation’ is ‘metamorphosis.’ According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this simply means ‘a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.’ A caterpillar changing into a butterfly is an excellent picture of what the Bible speaks of concerning the transforming of the believer into the image of Christ.
Satan uses wicked strongholds to fortify his dominion over God’s children
“For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 Berean Study Bible).
The Bible teaches that Satan tries to build wicked strongholds in our lives. One way to identify wicked strongholds is to be aware of repetitive situations that drag you down in spirit. Wicked strongholds are lies, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, being judgmental, envy, jealousies, doubt, unbelief, guilt and shame. Satan uses these as weapons to dominate God’s children from giving God’s Word the power to transform them. Make it a daily effort to nurture your soul and spirit with divine truth for breaking chains of wicked strongholds so that you can personally and spiritually grow and mature in the faith to be transformed into the image of God.
The Bible is not a book merely for information, it is there to set us free from wicked strongholds and to transform us into the image of God.
“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:12 ESV).
The Bible teaches us that transformation starts with truth (John 8:31,32). Here are some truths to live by if you desire to be free from wicked strongholds and to be transformed into the image of God. We must immerse ourselves in God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:14,15). We must decrease and Christ must increase (John 3:30). We must get to the end of ourselves doing so by crucifying the flesh (Galatians 2:19,20). A daily renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), by having the same mind and attitude as Christ (Philippians 2:5-11), through the process of sanctification (John 17:17-19). We must pull out wicked strongholds by their roots (2 Corinthians 10:1-5). We must deny self its rights (Luke 9:23,24), surrendering our thoughts and heart completely over to being obedient to God’s Word and His will (2 Corinthian 10:5). By confessing and repenting to God and others our fears, shame, guilt, unforgiveness and secret sins (1 John 1:9), and by being completely honest and transparent, possessing humility, the same attitude of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11). We accomplish this by using the Truth as our divine weapon. Allowing the Word of God the power to transform us. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist” (Ephesians 6:14a Berean Study Bible).
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eye of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12,13 Berean Study Bible).
‘God’s word is not just to be heard and repeated: it is to be breathed, lived, and emulated with each action.’ Steve Maraboli