Spiritual Metamorphosis

May 25th, 2007 • Category: My Favorite Scripture
by David Zier

Today’s scripture: Philippians 3:7-16 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (David Zier):

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible because it gives me hope no matter where I am.

When I started going to church when I was a teenager, my family was not present. My mother is Jewish, my father Lutheran, and neither of them attended any kind of worship service. I had no religious upbringing, and Church was like a foreign country to me. I started attending a Baptist Church in 1975 on my own.

When I was baptized in 1978, I thought I was going to experience this great transformation in an instant. I had a prayer list of everything that I wanted changed in my life, and prayed multiple times a day for several months leading up to my Baptism. The big day came. After each submersion, my spirit felt renewed and my life was changed.

However, I started to realize a few things pretty quickly: when it was over, I really did not feel much different, and I was disappointed. I had been told what I would feel, and I had a list of expectations — I didn’t just let the experience happen to me.

The next thing I started to realize was that I had not been praying for the right things. I had simply made my own list and prayed. I should have been praying for the things that God wanted for me. I thought that maybe God wanted to take it back and make me do it again. (Now remember, I was 16 years old!)

Verses 12, 13, and 14 of today’s passage really hit home with me then, and still do today. Sometimes we think we are supposed to instantaneously go through a metamorphosis and act and do as Jesus, and be a disciple from the moment we accept him as Lord of our life. Paul is telling us here, that he was pressing on toward the prize of the heavenly call, because he had not yet reached the goal. Paul wanted to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death. In verse 9, Paul writes that “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.”

I realized that I needed to press on as Paul; that I needed to grow in Christ. When I look back, I think the experience was more life changing and eye opening than I had originally thought. That experience made me realize that as our faith grows deeper, and we let Jesus into more of our life and decisions, that his transforming power is never ending.

Thought for the day: Are you allowing Jesus to transform your life day by day?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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