The Chrysalis Room
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ I know I am supposed to be in the process of being transformed into His likeness throughout my lifetime. This is an amazing mystery: God in us, transforming us into a new creation. Yet there are times when I condemn myself for not being further along in the process, or slipping back into sin and messing up “yet again”. This self-condemnation and self-judgment tend to help me pull away from God and from doing any kind of ministry. I don’t want to be a hypocrite right? However, these actions really mean that I still hold onto the incorrect beliefs that I need to be at a certain level of Christianity for God to love me, and use me, and if I am not at whatever “level” I deem as “OK”, I have failed and God is upset with me and doesn’t want me close to Him. This goes against everything I know to be true about who God says I am as His child and what He says about Himself as my loving father. I am believing and living a lie.
As I think about this metamorphosis process of sanctification a picture has been very helpful to me. Before I became a believer, I was a caterpillar. When I gave my life to follow Jesus, I entered into the chrysalis to begin the transformation into a butterfly (into the likeness of Christ, a new creation). I will live my entire lifetime in this chrysalis room. It is not until Jesus comes back again, and I see Him face to face, will I emerge from the chrysalis and become the butterfly He says I am. Yet, an amazing mystery here is this… when God sees me, he sees the butterfly I will be, not the butterfly I am becoming inside the chrysalis room.
So I must be careful not to go through life:
1. Condemning myself for not being a butterfly or expecting myself to be a butterfly right now
2. Expecting someone else to be a butterfly and/or condemning them for not being a butterfly yet
3. Believing certain people are already butterflies… I can’t put the stamp or seal of “butterfly” on anyone else. Everyone is in process, we all are living in a chrysalis room, some people are further along in their metamorphosis and others transform more in secret than in public.
If I do any of these three (above) things, I do not believe the truth in God’s word that I am in process, that I am not in control of that process, nor am I ultimately responsible for that process. I am the clay and He is the potter, not the other way around. Embedded in this, is the yet another mystery, the mystery that I am called to struggle and work very hard in this life with all HIS strength to become the butterfly He has created me to be and already says I am.
“I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Col 1:29 (The mysterious combination of human effort with divine help)
“(You) Continue to work out your salvation (express one’s salvation in spiritual growth and development; the ongoing process where the believer is strenuously involved) with fear and trembling (active reverence to God’s grace), for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil 2:12-13
Phil 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
Is 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
John 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.