Note: I am a Christian. By this, I will be using the name of Christ several times in this article. Many people do not follow this exact path. There are many paths which lead us back to the Divine Source. I wrote this a few years ago and since then my thoughts have evolved. However, I do believe this can be used as a teaching tool for some but I understand not for everyone. There are many who are fully awakened, therefore their thought is beyond these human words. Let me express that I am not trying to force anyone into seeing things a certain way. If you find something positive out of this article please use this to your advantage and may you be Blessed by the Holy Divine God.
The transformation from death to life:
Pride, also known as vanity or arrogance, refers to total reliance upon one's own abilities giving full recognition to self rather than reliance on the grace and mercy of God. Pride is the root of all sin. Also, known as the greatest of the seven deadly sins, ( Pride, Envy, Lust, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony, Greed) pride brings forth bad fruits such as selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, fear etc. When speaking about pride we are not referring to self-esteem and self-worth. We are focusing on the sin, such as self- righteousness, which separates us from God.
No one can be justified before God by his own works without divine grace through Jesus Christ. �for without me you can do nothing.� (John 15:5) Justification does not mean eternal security. The truth is, we are not saved by faith alone. It is possible for a Christian to lose their salvation. �Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.� ( Matthew 7: 21) Justification is an ongoing process by which man co-operates with the grace of God in order to be made righteous. In order to co-operate with the grace of God we must first fix our eyes on Him. Hebrews 12: 1-3 says, "And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.�
We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus turning away from our old self and becoming a new creature in Christ. �And put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.� (Ephesians 4:24)
It is by removing the old man of sin and putting on the new man in Christ that we begin to be transformed. We begin to discipline our mind into a new way of thinking. We seek after the truth, for it is the truth that will set us free. �And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.� (Romans 12:2) Most of what we do or who we are is because of learned behavior. Our actions are formed habits. We molded ourselves into what we wanted to be or we allowed others to do the molding. Putting on the new man requires much sacrifice. In order to go through this transformation we must be willing to deny ourselves of all those vices which made us sick. It is difficult because we have become comfortable with who we are. Not only that but we are afraid of change. Listen carefully to what I just wrote. We are comfortable with being sick and afraid to change in order to become healthy. This is true insanity! Christ said, �Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls.� (Matthew 11:29) Also our Lord said, "And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) It is so much easier for us to continue in our ways of sin; self-righteousness, boastful, disobedience, ungrateful, murder, abortion, blasphemy, adultery, fornication, masturbation, pederasty, homosexuality, bestiality, drugs, extortion, swindling, rage, abuse, greed, envy, idolatry, slander, drunkenness, dishonesty, resentment, conceit etc. These are some of the vices we use to stay sick. Many honestly believe that these very vices will fill the void we feel within ourselves. We spend our whole life trying to find something to make us feel good about ourselves and who we are. Fear keeps us from detaching these vices from our lives. Pride does not allow us to believe that there is a way for us to become free of all of this insanity. However, there is a way that will allow you to become that person you were meant to be from the moment of your conception. We were all called to be good and holy. There is a way to have serenity of the mind, tranquility of the soul and simplicity of the heart. It is only through total transformation in Christ that we will receive all that we have ever wanted and more.
The way to transformation is abandonment to God. First we have to come to the acceptance that trying it our way brought us to this point. Letting go of that pride and admitting defeat is one of the hardest things to do in life. However, I promise you this, it is through surrendering that you will receive power. Throwing your hands in the air and saying alright, I had enough, brings us to the second step which is acknowledging God. It is not that hard to believe in something greater than ourselves. In life there is always someone a little taller or smarter than we are. It is now time to recognize that we are nothing and that God is everything. In truth we are no more than a spec of dust, �for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return� (Gen.3:19) Next comes the willingness to accept the help offered to us and begin the transformation. We must become willing to accept the grace and mercy provided to us by God. Answering yes to these three questions will be the deciding factor on whether or not you are ready to move forward. Are we ready to follow direction? Are we ready to be forgiven? Are we ready to forgive and forget? It is time to put away the past and learn to live in the present moment. Humility is the key here. Coming to believe in a loving and forgiving God is a start. It is not hard to believe that there is something greater than ourselves. It is not difficult to accept forgiveness. The hard part is learning to forgive others. We need to come to the realization that they, just like us, are sick as well. We never focus on the other persons faults. We look only at our part and what we did or failed to do. Acknowledging our own faults is a form of humility. When we can do this than we are ready to begin the transformation.
The transformation does not occur over night. Being transformed is a daily process. Remember it took years to become molded into who or what we are now. Learning to change our ways of thinking, acting, listening, praying, speaking etc. takes discipline. It is not something that we do alone. It is by the grace and mercy of Almighty God, along with the assistance and prayers of others that we are able to accomplish this transformation.
Fraternity is necessary in order to strengthen each other as we walk in the new man of Christ. In being a servant to one another we receive the greatest of all blessings. It is in giving that we receive the blessing of Christ. We are not to serve others for selfish reasons. We are to serve others out of love for God and our fellow man.
Philippians (2: 3-9) says, "Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:"
The purpose of our transformation is to become more like Christ in our thoughts, words and deeds. With every thought, word and deed there is a consequence. The consequences could only be one of two: Positive or Negative. I would have to say that our words and deeds are a reflection of our thoughts. If we begin to change are way of thinking our words and deeds will reflect either positive or negative consequences. Christ words are this, "But he said that the things which come out from a man, they defile a man. For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile a man." (Mark 7:20-23) We must change are way of thinking through meditation, prayer and the reading of spiritual books. By applying these three steps to our daily lives, we will slowly start forcing out those negative thoughts which keep us sick. The healing and transformation will begin much faster than we may think. Each day we will begin to feel a little bit better about ourselves. Our attitude and our outlook upon life will become positive and others will begin to notice this change as well. The more we allow ourselves to become transformed, the closer we will reflect the image of Christ. We are in control of this destiny. The more we put in the more we get out.
It is important that we change everything about ourselves. We may never attain the degree of perfection. The point is that we do the best we can, on a daily basis, to be a little better than we were the day before. Staying away from the people, places and things that gave us permission to stay sick is a must. We must avoid temptation at all cost. "Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14) After we have stripped away the old person, filled with self, and put on the new man it is a must that we keep away from the darkness of the world. The old person was once in darkness and could not see because it was the things of the world that blinded us. Now that we have seen the light and have begun our journey into the light we can not go back into darkness. To do so would cause us to become sick once again. Remember that you are a new beginning, you are now a light shining in the darkness. You are a ray of hope to someone else who has lost their way in this world. It is now your obligation to give away that which you have received. This is done not that we may be glorified by others but rather that God may be glorified through you. "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." ( Matthew 5: 16) The way of true spirituality has been laid before us. We know now that humility and discipline are the keys necessary for a true transformation.
I have come to the realization that nothing in this world is more important than oneness with God. I was once lost but now I am found, I was once blind but now I see. Once again this task will not be an easy one. Some will struggle more than others. However, the rewards will be greater in the end. We must remember that we are at war. The spirits of darkness want us to suffer and die. Darkness wants us to stay sick. "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." (Ephesians 6: 12) We are to continue to walk in the light and remain faithful to Him who restored us to the new man. If we do this He will be faithful to us and keep us safe from all harm. Now the question we must ask is this, I am up for the challenge? If you are then know this, my prayers and blessings are with you. I pray that Almighty God shines His light upon you and guides you into the fullness of all truth. May you one day say the words of Saint Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)