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Transformation and Sacrifice

Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

From the moment of our conception, we change constantly from one form to another. Our entire lives are spent in an ongoing, minute by minute transformation. A father’s sperm penetrates a mother’s egg, and in a blast of light, the two fuse to one another and become a zygote. The zygote transforms into an embryo, and the embryo transforms into a fetus. The fetus emerges as a neonate, and the neonate develops into an infant. The infant grows to a child, and the child into an adolescent. The adolescent matures to an adult, and at some point the body of the adult begins degrading over time until it eventually dies. It then transforms into dust. What we look like as a zygote, or even as an embryo, is totally different from what we look like as a feeble geriatric in a nursing home – and certainly very different from what our bodies look like when they have returned to their dusty constituent elements. The whole lifespan is a process of transformation. We have no control over that process at all. But at some point in the process, a light turns on in our minds. We are then able to see the world, interact with it, and even control it in some ways.

Unlike our biological transformations, we do have some control over our spiritual transformations. Consider Paul’s familiar teaching in Romans 12:1-2. There he appeals to us to present our biological bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable to God. He says to do this is worship. So how do we become a holy and acceptable living sacrifice? Our being must be transformed from one that has a love for the world and a union to it, to one that rejects the world and is no longer shaped by it. Our being becomes one that loves God over the world. Paul says that this transformation is accomplished by renewing our minds. And our mind is something we have control over. How do we renew our minds? We pray. We study. We live with other believers dedicated to seeking and serving God. We make ourselves open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we do these things, we begin to recognize God’s grace, mercy, power and love. We then begin to enjoy his ways, and hate the world’s ways. It is then that we become willing to sacrifice worldly desires for the purpose of obtaining heavenly advancement. Transforming our minds, transforms our lives.

When we do this, a light turns on in our spiritual lives, and we can interact with heavenly goals, and control our bodies in sacrificial ways. But unlike our biological bodies which continually transform toward decay, our spiritual lives will continually transform toward eternal life.

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