I love spy thrillers! Whether it’s James Bond, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne or Sidney Bristow (remember the “Alias” series in the early 2000’s?), I get intrigued by all the twists and turns, moles and double agents, evil plots and counter plots. In spy thrillers, the most important thing that the hero needs to discover is the “endgame” of the enemy. Is the endgame a terrorist bombing or an assassination of a political figure? Or are those just preludes to something deeper, something more profound?
And you don’t have to be a spy to understand the importance of the endgame. Knowing the endgame is the most important thing to life itself. No one wants to come to the end of their lives not knowing or accomplishing the right endgame for it.
That goes for transformation, as well. What is the endgame for transformation?
We’ve been in a series since the beginning of the new year about Biblical Transformation. We’ve been looking deeper each aspect of our WholeLifeWorship verses in Romans 12:1-2 and seeing the components of what is involved to see our lives transformed to the best versions of ourselves. (If you missed any of these devotionals, no worries! To access them, just click here.)
The Apostle Paul gives us the answer to the endgame question for transformation at the end of verse 2:
Then (as we are transformed) you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Being transformed by God into Christ-likeness, into the best versions of ourselves, is not just about overcoming bad habits and tendencies – though we will.
It’s not about just making our lives better – though it will.
Neither is it just about making us into better people – though it will.
The endgame of Biblical Transformation is that we would be able to know and to do God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.
Why is knowing and doing God’s will so important?
– As we are transformed, we can then become agents of transformation to the world.
– As we know and do God’s will, we will be used by God to bring the power of shalom/wellness/wholeness and love to those around us.
– As we know and do God’s will, people will be truly drawn to Jesus Christ so they can be transformed, know and do God’s will, and bring others to faith.
Paul knew this from his own experience. If you remember back in the book of Acts (starting at the end of chapter 7), Paul was a persecutor of Christ followers. He worked overtime to find Christians, put them in jail, punished for their faith, and even have them stoned to death by other religious zealots.
But then he encountered the Living Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). That’s where the transformation of Paul started. He viewed and experienced God’s mercy (through Ananias’s receiving of him and healing his blindness). He surrendered himself to Christ (as seen by his baptism in Acts 9:18). He got repented and got rid of his old ways of doing life (cf. Phil. 3:4-8). He had his mind renewed to see new life in the Kingdom of God and he was transformed into a new man! But it didn’t stop there.
His new, transformed life led Paul to know and do God’s will by preaching the Gospel to outsiders, leading people to Christ, starting new churches, training godly leaders and writing books and letters (over ½ of the New Testament) that explained the Good News of Jesus Christ and how to live into the Christian faith. Wow!
Knowing and doing the will of God is the very BEST thing that we can do. My mentor, Bob Logan, passed on to me the true definition of success (that he learned from his dad, Sam Logan):
True success is finding out what God wants you to do (aka “God’s will”) – and then doing it!
But lest we think that God’s will is only a matter of “doing tasks for God,” here are some insights that I’ve learned:
1. The will of God is often less about what we do than how we do it.
2. The will of God flows out of who we are and who we are becoming (cf. James 3:11-12)
3. The will of God produces the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
4. Discovering the will of God is an ongoing journey of seeking, surrendering to and following Jesus
And most important, if we do not allow God to transform our lives, we will NOT be able to discern or do the will of God. (pause… mic drop!)
Well, we’ve come to the end of our devotional series on Biblical Transformation. As we review the steps of transformation, what is God prompting you to do so that you can be transformed?
– Is it taking a good, long look at God’s mercies so you can really trust God? (to review this concept, click here)
– Is it surrendering your whole life to God? (to review this concept, click here)
– Is it getting rid of the world’s way of doing things from your life? (to review this concept, click here)
– Is it being renewed in your mind so that you can “see” God’s Kingdom more clearly? (to review this concept, click here)
– Is it knowing and doing the will of God – the NEXT right thing God wants you to do?
Remember, the definition of true success is finding out what God wants you to do, and then JUST DO IT! (Thank you, Sam Logan … and Nike!)
If you enjoyed this devotional blog, let us know or “like” us on FaceBook. If you would like to have our weekly WholeLifeWorship sent directly to your email inbox, click here and fill out the short subscription form on the right side of the homepage. Blessings!