This week while thinking about “change” in the mind and life of believers, and praying about what to write to you, I remembered a teaching I gave at a ladies tea in Ridgecrest, CA. As I shared there, I compared the new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) with the story of the butterfly.
You see, a caterpillar before its transformation into a butterfly, has no capacity for the light, fluttering, new-born movements made by a butterfly. It has no capacity for the delights experienced by a butterfly such as flying above the ground instead of crawling across it. It cannot even imagine it, let alone conceive it. The caterpillar must first be changed into a new creature – a butterfly.
As new creatures in Christ, there are a number of ways we could be likened to the caterpillar that was transformed into a butterfly. God changed us from creatures with sinful hearts to creatures with hearts that desire to please Him. Our old nature has passed away and all things are new (2 Cor 5:17). So, just as the caterpillar, now a butterfly, has a new life awaiting it, a new life awaits all who are new creations in Christ.
However, here is the deal. The butterfly must make the effort to embrace its new life by going through the struggle of eating its way out of the cocoon while pushing its wings against the sides of the cocoon. If it fails to do this, it will die inside the cocoon – yes, a caterpillar changed into a butterfly – but, without tasting the benefits and joys of its new life, and without fulfilling its destiny as a beautiful new creature. Does this ever happen? Yes, sometimes it happens. And, sometimes, as Christians, although we are new creations in Christ Jesus, we continue in our old life, failing to emerge just as the butterfly who fails to push its way out of that which is holding it back from experiencing what it was recreated for. We still see ourselves as sinners instead of seeing ourselves as over comers. We still think of ourselves as incapable instead of proclaiming, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Although we are no longer in bondage to the old nature, we still choose to focus on our old life and live our lives as that old creature. Most times, I think we do this simply because it has become comfortable and easy to us even though it is not what is best for us. We continue to live as the old man because of habit, and, perhaps some continue in the old life because they have a lack of knowledge of who they really are in Christ.
Either way, to experience the purpose and the joy of the new life that awaits us, we must make some effort. We must open the Scriptures and replace the old way of thinking with a new way of thinking. We must find out who we are and renew our minds accordingly (Romans 12:2), if we are to push our way out of the old life that we have been freed from. For example, God says you are a world over comer (1 John 5:4) and a conqueror (Romans 8:37). He says you are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). He says you are established, anointed, and sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21,22). And, He says you are filled with the spirit of power, love, and a sound, disciplined mind. But, you may say you don’t feel like it; or you don’t see yourself this way. But listen, we cannot trust our own thoughts, emotions, or feelings as truth. Our only standard of truth is the Word of God! What does it say about you? Who does God call you? What does God say you have and what does He say you can do? Who does God say you are? Why listen to someone else including yourself when God is the one who has created you? Wouldn’t He know more about you since He made you? Find out what God has to say and begin to act like you are who He says you are in the midst of your doubt.
It is sad that many Christians do not make the effort to discover and experience who they are in Christ. They continue acting like they are someone they are NOT and they miss out on the experience of living as the child of the King of the Universe. They continue to act like the old man/woman instead of who God has made them to be. To experience new life, we must learn to separate our actions from our identity. Put on the new identity and when we fail to act like who God says we are, we need to be careful not to mistake that unwanted action as who we really are. Robert McGee, author of In Search of Significance gives us a great example to help us understand this principle: A person loses their mind, gets down on their knees, and begins barking like a dog. Does that make this person a dog? No – of course not. Their actions are that of a dog; however, they are still a human being, despite what they are doing.
How about you? Do you know who you really are in Christ? Or, are you asking, “Where is this new life the Bible talks about?” I want to encourage you not to be one of those Christians who fail to put any effort forth to renew their mind according to God’s Word, thereby, failing to emerge and embrace the new life Christ has waiting for them. Come on. You can do it. Spread your wings and push through your obstacles with all your might. As the butterfly uses all of its might to push its way out of the cocoon to emerge, you must push your way out of the old way of thinking in order to embrace the new life that awaits you. Open your Bible. Meditate on it. Believe it. Be who God has created you to be!
I am here to help you on your journey of change that will result by the renewing of your mind to truth. Remember, it is not what you believe that sets you free. It is not what you believe that transforms you. It is believing truth. You must discover it and experience it. Then, you, too, can share it! If you would like a copy of Scriptures that pertain to who God calls you to be, just send me an email and I would be delighted to send it to you.
For fun, I uploaded this video. You can watch a butterfly emerge from the chrysalis here:
May God bless you… Until Next Time,
Discover Truth! Experience Truth! Share Truth!
“Helping people to identify lies in their belief system,
replace them with truth, and thereby
increase in their faith and enjoyment of life & God!