Published on June 5th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
TRANSFORMATION FROM THE INSIDE OUT
by Taffi Dollar
Most of us can relate to reaching a point in our lives where we felt frustrated and discouraged, and desperately longed for something to change. Some of us may have experienced a crisis; for others, it may have been a gradual realization that we had become stuck in a painful situation. Change for the better is possible, but it doesn’t come from any outside source. True transformation begins on the inside of us, and it starts with the Word of God.
It’s tempting to try to change ourselves by reading self-help books or following the advice of psychologists or counselors, but unless what we read or hear is biblically-based, nothing will come of our efforts. For any type of permanent results, we need God’s help. The world may tell us to change what we do; however, we can’t change our behavior unless we change the way we think, first. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). God’s will isn’t for us to stagnate in life, but to be able to embrace positive changes that enable us to improve.
What we think determines what we do; if we aren’t believing the right thing, we can’t possibly do the right thing that leads to the changes we want. There are plenty of theories and philosophies floating around the world, but not all of them work. We can’t change ourselves, but God’s Word can. “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred” (Mark 4:3-8).
When we hear the Word in faith and with an open mind, it takes root and grows in our hearts in the same way seeds take root and grow when planted in fertile soil. Studying and applying the Word leads to a gradual transformation in the same way a caterpillar’s metamorphosis leads to a gradual change into a butterfly. Making biblically-based change a part of our lifestyle is in our best interest. Change can be uncomfortable and scary; believing that God loves and cares for us, and that His nature will never change, helps us cope with whatever changes are necessary in our lives. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV).
The world doesn’t understand the Word; therefore, we’re guaranteed to encounter persecution when we begin studying our Bibles with the goal of true change in ourselves. When we hit resistance, we must persevere. We only benefit from the Word when we act on what we read. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). Change that lasts only comes when we let God remodel us from the inside.