17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2 Corinthians 6:17
A person can’t be a living sacrifice without separating from the things that feed our flesh nature. We will continue to struggle in our spiritual walks if we are spending hours every day watching sporting events, television programs, and feeding on news headlines.
Solomon tells us that it is the “little foxes” that are destroying the vineyard of our lives (Song of Solomon 2:15). I’ve heard people say that the programs they watch are okay because there is only a snippet or two of violence or bad language. I used to say this myself.
Over time I’ve come to realize the damage that these seemingly small things we’re doing to my spirit. Unlocking the plan of God will require us to become separated from the world around us.
Some of what I am sharing may seem to be extreme. I once heard Dr. Kenneth E. Hagin say the Church is not seeing the power of God manifesting more in our midst as a result of our lack of reverence for the Holy Spirit. This reverence will not grow in a heart filled with the day’s news headlines!
Lester Summerall once told a story of his first visit to Smith Wigglesworth’s home. He was a young man and desired to make an impression on the man of God and so dressed in his best suit. It was fashionable in London at the time for men to carry the day’s paper under their arm so Lester made sure to have a copy with him.
Lester arrived at the house and knocked. Smith answered, saw the paper, and slammed the door! He would not let Lester cross his threshold carrying a newspaper.
Smith Wigglesworth’s ministry was known for the miraculous. He lived such a separate life and would not even allow a newspaper into his home. Smith lived a life that most of us would consider to be extreme but also walked in a level of power few of our generation have seen or experienced.
Christians seem to have become dull to the “sin” surrounding them. Lawlessness is increasing and it seems the majority of Christians are living in fear.
The current state of most churches must grieve God. He sent Jesus to redeem us and then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower us. The Bible tells us God is unchanging and the fact that His power is not manifesting today as it has in the past tells us that we’ve allowed ourselves to become conformed by the world around us.
Paul warned the Roman church about allowing themselves to become pressed into the mold of the ungodliness filling their society (Romans 12:1). This is a warning we must take to heart.
There are people in our workplaces who interact with us every day that might be shocked to hear we are Christians. If our unbelieving coworkers cannot tell the difference between their lives and ours, what kind of testimony do we have?
God is merciful! He will lead us by His Spirit step by step into His plan. This will require us to turn to Him and repent for allowing ourselves to be conformed by the world.
The Greek word translated “transformed” in Romans 12:2 is “metaporphousthe”. This is the word most often translated as metamorphosis.
A caterpillar enters the cocoon and exits it as a beautiful butterfly. It undergoes a metamorphosis while hidden away in the cocoon!
The Word of God is our cocoon. If we immerse ourselves in it, we will undergo the process of spiritual metamorphosis and emerge with the power of God flowing in our lives.
The caterpillar begins life crawling in the dirt like a worm. Human beings also begin life crawling through the “dirt” of sin as a result of being born with a sinful nature.
The process of transformation begins when we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. I equate the salvation process to a caterpillar spinning its cocoon. If they do not enter into it when finished, they will never emerge as beautiful butterflies.
Millions of Christians will never unlock the plan of God simply because they never open Scripture outside of the weekly service. They are like the caterpillar who has spun a cocoon but never entered in and therefore never changes into the beautiful butterfly!
Jesus told His disciples that they were to wait for the Holy Spirit before launching out into ministry (Acts 1:4-5).
Paul was separated for approximately three years in Arabia before he stepped out into the ministry God had called him to (Galatians 1:17-18).
Caterpillars spend an average of twenty-one days in the cocoon before emerging as a butterfly. The butterfly has an average lifespan that ranges from just a few days to as many as seven months. Many of them spend as much time in the cocoon as they will live after emerging from it!
Paul told the Roman believers to allow their minds to be transformed by the Word of God. It will take time for this to happen and we must not be in a hurry. If we will submit to the time of preparation, God will open the door for us when we are ready and can be trusted with His anointing.
The disciples did not spend as much time in the upper room as Paul did in Arabia. There is no set time requirement for us to be transformed by God’s Word. This may occur in one week, one month, or may even require years.
We will all emerge from our Word “cocoons” at different times. Far too many of us try to rush this process but it will take as long as it takes and we must not yield to our fleshly desires to find a shortcut.
Many Christians have tried to skip their time of preparation and have gotten into trouble as a result. We can leave our cocoons before the process of transformation is complete but we must resist this temptation and stay in the Word until we are ready to be launched out into the plan of God for our lives!
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