Transformation and True Victory
Transformation is evidence of walking in victory.
True victory follows only after the battle and struggle have ceased. Victory is the absence of struggle. No army waves a victory flag while still engaging in the battle. The victory flag is waved because the battle has been won. The presence of a struggle in a believer’s life is evidence of unbelief and a failure to know and embrace his victory. The victory the apostles described is attained through faith and not through struggle or battle. To the degree that we believe the truth in our hearts (faith), we will cease to struggle, and we will enter His rest.
As we have read in other articles, knowing the truth with the heart is not the same as knowing it intellectually. Knowing the truth with the heart is God accomplished through His Spirit persuading us of the truth. Any person can memorize a Bible verse and even give it intellectual assent. However, believing it with the intellect does not mean that it is believed with the heart. Our emotions are always a dead giveaway of what we believe. For example, if we really believe that God was the supplier of all our needs (as stated in Phil. 4:19) then it would be impossible for us to ever feel worried, anxious or fearful about our finances. If there is fear, worry or anxiety present then we believe something else.
In the same way we do not have to try hard to live out the lies we believe; we do not require any more effort to live out the truth once we are transformed by it. Transformation is not a state of doing, but one of being. Our minds were created by God to function in this manner. When we believe something with the heart (lie or truth), we will not have to put any effort into living out this belief. We will feel whatever this belief feels like and act it out effortlessly.
We will not need to strive to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We will be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled. The fruit of the Spirit will be the natural and expected outcome of the transformation that has resulted from a refined faith and mind renewal. Transformation is maintenance-free, and it requires nothing on our part to sustain it. It is wholly a work of God.
As we learn to view our life difficulties, crises, and things that others may indeed have meant for our harm as instruments in the hand of God, we will be able to see with Joseph’s perspective. He said to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring about this present result” (Gen. 50:20).