A life in metamorphosis takes a human on the pathway to normal to a roadway to greatness – what the human life looks to be is nothing in comparison to what it is coming to be – Jesus. The body may look human, but the inside is the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And this life will act differently, respond differently, and perform differently. This life will speak in contrast to the world – it will go against the flow of what’s normal and will not waiver from it.
So we’ve been looking at signs that are to be seen in the life of a soul who is on the road to transformation. And the question we have been asking ourselves personally is this: Am I seeing the signs?
- Am I seeing surrender? Am I surrendering to God’s ways over my own, which in reality is submission to God?
- Am I seeing renewal? Is my mind being renewed daily to know God’s true and perfect will?
- Am I serving? Am I showing myself to be deserving of God’s favor by humbly serving Him through serving others?
- Do I love? Do I love others as God loves me, especially those who don’t love me in return?
These are the first four of the eight signs you and I should be seeing on the road to transformation. And these signs are not one and done, but cyclical to the varying situations we find ourselves on with this faith journey – called tests of faith.
A great example of cyclical transformation was Abraham. He was tested in many ways, but here are a few big ones.
- Leave your hometown and go to the Land I have promised you,
- Trust Me for a son in your old age,
- Sacrifice your son.
Some of these tests he passed and some he failed. But through it all, Abraham was being transformed into the image of the God He was following. And that’s what God is calling you and me to do in following His Son.
Today we’re going to look at the 5th sign of transformation found in Romans 12: 11. And the fifth mark of transformation is: Diligence – diligence bleeds of persistence.
Diligence is required in the transformation of a believer because life never goes as planned.
If you could plan your life to go exactly as planned, what would it look like? I doubt it would look like what you have had happen to you so far. Am I right? So diligence is needed to overcome the obstacles that will attempt to keep you from reaching your goal. You have to be persistent and persevere (you have to keep your spiritual fervor) or otherwise you come away short and disappointed.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 5: 3-5 speaks to the fact that God doesn’t permit life to go as planned for this important reason: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
And James, the brother of Jesus, in James 1: 2-4 tells us the attitude we should have toward these obstacles: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
You see your faith is a marathon race. Therefore, you MUST delay satisfaction. You must be willing to overcome the obstacles and pains. You must be willing to put in the time before the race so that when the race occurs, you are prepared to finish and finish well.
Hebrews 12: 1 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
The Apostle Paul says of himself in Acts 20: 24, “However I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
He reminds the church in 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 of the effort it takes to remain diligent in the faith, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it a slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
And he shared with Timothy in 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 about the end of his ministry (the end of his life), “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
Diligence bleeds of persistence. How diligent are you? Do you throw in the towel as soon as an obstacle gets in your way? Do you only want faith to bring you victory without the preparation?
Well, the scriptures today tell me there is no way to win the race without the pains of preparation. There is no way to win the race if I don’t enter the race. There is no way to win the race if I quit along the course. I have to be diligent in my training. I have to be diligent in overcoming my fears and anxieties. I have to be diligent in pushing through the pain. I have to be diligent in preparing myself mentally to win.
Diligence bleeds of persistence. Jesus said in Luke 8: 15 about the one who lets the seed of God’s truth grow deeply in their hearts – “But the seed on the good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering (by not giving up, by being persistent and diligent) produce a crop.”
So say with me today: “I will be determined. I will persevere. I will start, finish, and run to win the race.”