We often remember the many special moments in our lives and try hard to forget the embarrassing ones. Every second of the day moments slip by. We have the opportunity to use those moments as we wish. But, of all our moments, heaven takes notice of the moments of our spiritual transformation. As life’s landmarks, they are not erasable from our memory. They often demand exorbitant sacrifice, calls out a broken surrender and are often fearless moments of faith. Born out of battles, they are not always glamorous moments; but, they are always beautiful.
In general, such moments are when we break through the barriers in our lives to become something far grander than our prior selves. Those are the moments when we cross over into the realm of a new world, where new opportunities, new hope, new passions and new purposes await. If you have not experienced such a transforming moment, then you are significantly missing out.
But exactly when is the definitive moment of our transformation?
For Saul it was a blinding moment: He was convinced that by persecuting Jesus’ followers he was doing the right thing, until God struck him blind on the road to Damascus. He ate nothing for three days as he pondered his past life and prayed for his new life. He had three days to decide if he wanted to keep persecuting or he wanted to start preaching. God sent Ananias to restore his sight. “Brother Saul, the Lord…has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength (Acts 9: 17-19). Afterwards, he became Paul the preacher. Sometimes, God has to step in to encourage our transformation.
For Samson it was also blinding moment: He was born to be a deliverer, but, he was doing something else. He was more devoted to his marriage than his mission; until, the enemy plucked out his eyes (Judges 16). Saul was blinded for only three days, but Samson was imprisoned and remained blind until he died. We don’t know exactly when Samson’s moment of transformation came, but we can tell that it came. He fulfilled his life’s mission between the pillars; a blind dying man, but a new man. Sometimes it takes pain and suffering for us to experience the moment of transformation.
For Bartimaeus it was an eye-opening moment: When blind Bartimaeus called out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me,” he was seeking both physical and spiritual transformation. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus said, “Rabbi, I want to see” (Mark 10: 46- 52, NIV). In that instant he crossed over from darkness to light, from dismay to hope, from lost to redeemed. That must be have been a really, heartwarming and beautiful moment. Sometimes we have cry out to God for help in order to experience those moments.
For the man blind from birth it was also an eye-opening moment: John 9 tells the story of another man who was blind from his birth. Jesus called him over, “spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “Wash in the Pool of Siloam.” All of his life he saw darkness, until his eyes were opened, offering him complete engagement with his surroundings. That moment had to be full of wonderment and joy. Sometimes our moments are miraculous and full of blessing.
We can learn a few things from these examples:
We don’t always dictate our moments: Life circumstances (under divine allowance) calls out our moments of transformation. Therefore, the color of our transforming moments, may not have soft hues; they may be full of dark tones. For, Saul and it was frightening. For Samson, it had to be lonely and painful; he lost everything. For the man born blind, it was unexpected. Life just crept up on them, took them by surprise and called out a changed heart. Genuine transformation is first ignited by the spirit of God, accompanied by a genuine choice to change. Transformation is no respecter of places, people, or position. When you are aroused by the knowledge that you need to transform, then you will either respond with action, or reject and ignore what is necessary for you to do.
We have to choose and act when the moments come: Choice is the hardest part, and it hinders many from experiencing the moment. Any transformation forced upon us, violates the law of transformation. It also nullifies the experience to be gained and the lessons to be learned during the journey. Saul and Samson had some time to think about their past and ponder their future. Samson could have been bitter with hurt that prevented him from seeking God’s forgiveness. Saul could have continued to persecute the people. Instead both men used their misfortunes to repent and to renew themselves. As for Bartimaeus, he made sure that he hollered loud enough for Jesus to hear him. He was not about to pass up on this opportunity to change his life around.
We need discernment to fully experience these moments: Light represented by spiritual discernment is necessary for our transformation. Both Saul and Samson had light, but it was obscure. Only when scales fell from Saul’s eyes, could he perceive spiritual things. They needed some darkness to perceive what true light is. Sometimes, God allows us to break before he builds us. For Bartimaeus, even before he saw the light, Bartimaeus was convinced Jesus is Lord. He called out to him, “Jesus thou son of David.” All he needed was the eyesight for the insight that he already had.
We may have to plummet before we can reach the pinnacle: Moments of transformation may require us to step down from lofty position as Saul had to do. Moments may crush us, as one did Samson. They may even have us thrown out as they threw out the man out of the temple because he believed on Jesus. They may require is to leave all that we know and step out into the unknown. As we work towards our transformation, we have to make sacrifices, battle and overcome the oppositions, and break down the barriers to achieve something noble. We have to step away from old habits, old friendships. We have to give up many of the worldly things that we want to hold on to and walk the straight and narrow path.
We will become noticeable: That’s what our moments of transformation does; they change our person-hood, they change our hearts and they turn heads. The people couldn’t believe that persecuting Saul became preaching Paul. The people couldn’t believe that the man born blind had full sight; they even called his parents to verify. As for Samson, I’m sure many couldn’t believe that this mighty warrior became a feeble prisoner. Transformation changes us; it should—but in good ways.
Transformation is formidable…even ruthless sometimes, because it’s tough trying to change into something better than ourselves. Many passionately seek after this moment in their own strength. Until we have the ultimate experience when Jesus takes our stony heart and gives us a new heart, we have not truly experienced the moment. When we do, that moment of our transformation is precious in the sight of God, and all of heaven celebrates our victory.
Aren’t you hungry to cross over, from blindness to spiritual insight? Don’t you want to break free from the chains of this world and fly in the freedom and fellowship with our heavenly Father? Then, choose Jesus, call out to Him and when He says to you, “what do you want me to do for you?” Tell Him, a heart transformation, and relish the moment.
Ezekiel 36:26, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Artwork: Avocet Brooks