WE ARE A NEW CREATION

Romans 8:29 - "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."
Romans 12:2 - "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
1 Peter 1:14 - "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,"
2 Corinthians 3:18 - "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

Conform: to be similar or identical also : to be in agreement or harmony —used with to or with changes that conform with our plans. 2a : to be obedient or compliant —usually used with to conform to another's wishes. The building doesn't conform to local regulations.
Transform : to change in composition or structure. b : to change the outward form or appearance of. c : to change in character or condition : convert.

This is part of a prayer after reading in 2 Cor. Don’t be fooled as I was!
Lord, would you help me be strong in you and come to a place where I let hurtful words/harsh words ~ help me, Lord, remember they are but a reflection of the person delivering them. Help me reflect you. Help me be holy, Lord, not to be bitter, but to please you. Lord, lead me away from the temptation to feel sorry for me. Change me oh, Lord, --but to do that, I must go through it. Oh, Lord, that’s not the way I want to change, but that is why I must be transformed and conformed. I will not change unless I’m put in a position to have to be different. Help me be different when those times come.

The Lord tells us not to be conformed to this world, to the passions of our former ignorance. He tells us to be conformed to the image of Christ and to be transformed by renewing our mind (what we think and believe). He also tells us we are being (present, ongoing) transformed into His image, by degrees by His Spirit.  I want to be transformed and conformed. But if you read my prayer, I want to go to bed and wake up different. To conform is to agree with the Lord that: He is Lord, His is the Way and I am to obey. To transform is to manifest that agreement in how I think and behave.

Hurtful and harsh words are but an avenue, and invitation from the Lord to conform and be transformed. It doesn’t mean those words won’t hurt. But I will not conform or transform if I never have to encounter them. That is what was at the heart of my prayer. I wanted to be changed by not having to encounter hurtful or harsh words. I want to be changed for my comfort and pride.  But, even I deliver hurtful and harsh words. What am I willing to do about that?

Are you asking God to change your spouse? Then you’re giving Him permission to conform and transform you too. Are you asking God to change you? Then you’re giving Him permission to conform and transform you. God is desirous of doing both. We have to ask ourselves, of what are we desirous?  

Therefore, we need to take our thoughts captive to the throne of Grace, make our thoughts and actions obedient to His will (1 Cor. 10:3-5).  We need to ask ourselves, when I am thinking about my spouse, am I thinking on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, just, pure, lovely, whatever is commendable or if there is any excellence, anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil. 4:8). Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1-2).

I am not asking God to bring on the hurtful/harsh words. What I want to do is repent of what I’d normally want to do in my flesh and by His Spirit, repent and respond in a Christlike way. He is changing us step by step. Are we letting Him? Do we respond to His invitations with a resound NO or with a humble attitude, of here I am, Lord, I am yours.

by Patti Calderon

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