When I go to the hospital sick, I want to walk out those doors on a path toward health. Transformation is a gift. I thank God he doesn't lead us where he found us. We do not have to stay where we've been; that place of brokenness and slavery does not have to hold you forever.
Being 'transformed' literally means to go beyond your current form. For the believer who trusts in Jesus, we believe God takes us on a journey of transformation. It can be a slow journey, but remember: it only takes 13 hours to build a Toyota, but it takes 6 months to build a Rolls.
In Romans 12:1-8, Paul uses the phrase 'in view of God's mercy'. God's mercy is a transformative agent. His mercy moves us from where we were to where he wants us to be. Paul wrote about at least three things that are changed (transformed) by the mercy of God:
1] God's mercy transforms how we worship (verse 1). We no longer see our worship as the hour or two we spend 'in church' but instead focus on the life we live 'in Christ'. How we live becomes our worship, In other words, how we live points to Jesus.
2] God's mercy transforms how we live (verse 2). Paul makes a contrast between being shaped b the natural world we were born into and the life shaped by Jesus who we are re-born into. As God's mercy transforms our mind, we will find both how we think and how we feel being changed. A renewed mind helps us to be able to discern the will of God and renews our commitment to following Jesus. Everything in our lives gets transformed in our relationship with Jesus -- and it all gets infused with his purpose.
3] God's mercy transforms our community (verse 3-8). How? Because the mercy of God changes the way you see ourselves and others. When we are changed, our community will change! The mercy of God puts your life in proper perspective (no more arrogance as you learn to prefer one another out of love) and teaches you that you are part of something bigger than yourself (the Body of Christ). When you have been transformed by God's mercy, you'll begin to see yourself, others, and your community differently.
The journey of transformation is a life-changing gift from God. We are not trapped in yesterday. We're not stuck in hopelessness. Life can be renewed, and our state of mind can be transformed.