Metamorphosis

Monarch butterfly

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1Jo 3:2 KJV)

A few years ago I prayed, “Father, make me like your Son, only doing those things I see you doing and speaking those things I hear you saying.” I had just enough time to think to myself, “Man! That was sure a righteous prayer!” To this He replied, “No, my son, that is only the starting point!”

So many of us want to walk as Jesus walked on this earth, doing good, healing the sick and speaking great words of wisdom from God. But this is where success is found… only doing and saying what He desires to do and say through us. BUT here is the test… are we willing to learn obedience the way Jesus had to learn it? Jesus learned obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Many want to be spiritual, but few want to pay the price that is attached to true spirituality in Christ. After praying this prayer I went into a time of suffering and isolation. I learned that I had to suffer many of the same things Jesus did and often at the hand of religious Christians! Isaiah 53 became my life story; a root out of dry ground with nothing about me that men would desired, despised, rejected, cut off from fellowship and friends and judged by others as being under the judgment of God. Yes, “to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” Who, indeed? Just how bad do any of us want to have Christ revealed in us?

You see, to get to this point of being totally tuned into and obedient to our Father takes a total transformation. The flesh profits nothing. We first have to come to realize that there is no good thing in us and seek HIS resolution to the problem. This word, transformation is packed with meaning. Have you seen the movie, “Metamorphosis”? I recently watched it with a brother in Christ from Canada who came to our home and he brought it with him. It is a documentary about what takes place in a the life-cycle of a butterfly and part of what I am writing here, he shared with me. It was a special time together in Christ.

For years it has been a mystery how that lowly worm, the caterpillar, was transformed (Greek – metamorpho) into a butterfly in that hard, ugly chrysalis. Then some scientists did an MRI of one of them while it went through this process. It seems that the worm, while in the chrysalis, completely dissolves and none of the original legs, organs, digestive track, etc. remains. Then there are some small cell packages in what’s left that take that “worm soup” and reform it into the organs that are common only to the butterfly. The worm does not change himself but rather he gives up his life so that a new and more glorious life might spring forth from what was once the old. He has to lose his old identity completely for this to happen. The whole thing is a miracle and it is a living parable of what God desires to do with each of us. Paul wrote about this process saying,

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed [metamorpho] by the renewing of your mind [literally, a whole new mind], that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom 12:1-2 KJ2000).

There is no comparison of the caterpillar to the butterfly. Once, the worm had a gut that digested leaves, but the butterfly now eats and digests nectar from flowers with a new digestive track. Once the worm had stubby little legs that were made to grasp leaves, now the butterfly has long articulated legs made to grasp flowers. Once the worm had no eyes, but now the butterfly has compound eyes that see everything around it. Once the worm had no proboscis, but now the butterfly has a long one that can reach the bottom of the deepest flower. Once the worm was confined to the branch it was hatched on, now the butterfly, like the Monarch, can fly for thousands of miles and with his new mind and know exactly how to get to where he is supposed to be. And who can deny the beauty of the butterfly? There is no comparison of its form to the former worm.

As we progress in Christ we, like the butterfly larva, become a “living sacrifice” that goes into a total dormant state for a season (some call it a time of deep trials, darkness or wilderness) while we trade one life form for another. We are being transformed from lowly worms into beautiful spiritual butterflies that we might “mount up with wings as eagles” and rest on and move with the winds of the Spirit. This is what obedience is — resting in the Spirit in our new lives not striving as a worm to do what only a butterfly can do. Paul described this process this way,

 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2Co 4:11 KJ2000)

Did you know that even Jesus went through a metamorphosis right before the eyes of his disciples?

And after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain apart, And was transfigured [metamorpho] before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his clothing was white as the light. (Mat 17:1-2 KJ2000)

You see, Jesus is the pattern Son. God sent Him into the world to show us the path of true righteousness and then to empower us by the gift of His Spirit abiding in us to carry it out. ALL things necessary for salvation, justification, righteousness and our glorification are ours as we abide IN Christ and submit ourselves to this process. This revelation should give scope to what Paul wrote in Romans chapter eight…

 For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God… but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body… Likewise the Spirit also helps our weakness… And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom 8:19-32 KJ2000)

Remember how I wrote above that the worm was dissolved inside the chrysalis? Now look at what Paul wrote to the Corinthians…

 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven… Now he that has made us for the same thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (2Co 5:1-5 KJ2000)

This transformation process that the saints of God must go through was a mystery down through the ages. It was hidden though the prophets desired to understand what God would do to change us. How would God ever get sinful men and women to become His sons and daughters? It was not done through the keeping of the law because the law was weak because of our sinful flesh (See Romans 8:3). No, it was done by the cross of Christ and the imparting into us of His resurrection life.

 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col 1:26-27 KJ2000)

Just as our suffering starts in this lifetime, so does our transformation, our metamorphosis, and herein is the glory of God seen among His sons and daughters for he submits us to this process in hope. Jesus Christ, the First-born Son of God,  is our hope and our glory in all things pertaining to life as we abide IN Him.

Amen. Even so, Come Lord Jesus… in us all.

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25 comments on “Metamorphosis

  1. Vicky Lindsay says:

    Wonderful – powerful Michael. Forwarding it on to many. What a beautiful picture to keep us pressing on to the mark of the high calling. In Christ, Vicky

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy Morris says:

    Awesome posting Michael! Am sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hosea says:

    Michael, this is a classic!!! If i tag this post “Journey to Imortality”, i may not be wrong because that is our destination. I love the word TRANSFORMATION than REVOLUTION because the former is a process of which when it is completed, its fruit can last and stand a test of time, but with the later comes with myriads or half baked “sons” just like Ephraim which the scriptures drscribed him as as such. Revolution always results to an unending strife and more problems as its witnessed in the recent so called Arab Spring in the Middle East. But because Transformation is a process, the butterfly is always patient to go through the valley of the shadow of death/the valley of barca because of the glory set before it – the glory of beeing a butterfly, and as you rightly put it that after the giving up of the old nature (worm) comes the emergence of the new (butterfly) which can be liken to NEW CREATION…thanks Michael for beeing a blessing to the Body of Christ…much love and grace to you…agape

    Liked by 1 person

    • michaeldc110 says:

      Hosea, thanks for your thoughts on this matter. So many in America are coming under the “revolution” mindset these days as the federal government clamps down on our civil rights. BUT what an opportunity it is to choose Jesus and be transformed into His new creation and not be of this world system any longer. Which way will we choose– the kingdoms of men or the kingdom of God– weapons of the flesh or the spiritual weapons of God? “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision.”

      Like

  4. Hosea says:

    Michael, this is a link to Wyane Jacobsen’s blog of which he was sharing the lessons learnt from butterfly…enjoy…
    http://lifestream.org/blog/2012/12/10/encouragement-in-my-own-backyard/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Markus says:

    My dear bro-heart,

    there is an additional thought coming to my mind about the transformation of an butterfly: The hide!

    When a caterpillar feels its final time has come it looks for a secret and protected place… because while being disolved in the chrysalis it is absolutely vulnerable.
    It’s glued to a branch or leave and lost all control about itself. If this process of transformation is disturbed or disrupted it can’t be prevented.
    The butterfly to come needs rest and protection… other never a butterfly will emerge from the chrysalis.

    Therefore God sets us apart from the streams of normal life… leads us into desolate places, Conceals us from this world. This solitude with Him is our protection and this protection is the precondition for the radical transformational changes to proceed successfully.

    Every impatience will ruin the final form. We have to yield completely into the hands of our divine creator trusting His expertise more than what we behold with our senses.

    … and something shouldn’t be forgotten here: It takes His time… and not ours!

    Years pass by. In the beginning you’ll wait for the end to come… but in the end even this waiting will die… and you will be contend not asking anymore.

    There are just a very few living today that made it through this process refraining from every own action and completely letting Him do His work.
    Though surrounded by others they’re lonely I can’t put in words just as they get dissolved they loose their basis in humanity.
    They understand everyone… but no one will understand them any more. Just the ones having went through transformation themselves will understand each other… and this immediately!

    Liked by 2 people

    • michaeldc110 says:

      Thanks, Markus. You have added an important part of the process, for sure… being hid away in the shadow of His wings. I have found out that this can be a very dark place. So dark He seems very far away when He is not. To finally come to the place while here that we become content with no matter what state He puts us in, that is the key.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tom Walker says:

      [Years pass by. In the beginning you’ll wait for the end to come… but in the end even this waiting will die… and you will be contend not asking anymore.] Wow! Inspired is all I can say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Markus,

      It has been a long time, my brother. I left a few messages with you on your blog and such, but I guess it was not time. I had some more thoughts to add to my former reply.

      I agree with everything you have written here. Good stuff. This is exactly what God did in my life as well, the “hide” and the breaking of all striving. I finally quit seeking an end to that death and said, “God if this death is what you have for me until I die physically, so be it. YOU are God and I am not. I am yours to do with as you will.” That was the beginning of the end and gradually He started to turn up His Light in my life and speak to me once again.

      You are right, speaking of the wilderness to those who have never been there is futile. And speaking of it to those who are not dead yet is also for they are still kicking against it. But the fellowship we have on THIS side of the Jordon is fantastic.

      Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with foods, which have not profited them that have been observing them. We have an altar, of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle.
      (Hebrews 13:8-10 KJ2000)

      Your brother,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Markus says:

        Michael,

        though I don’t visit here regularly anymore today (2 days after your last post) the Lord led me to this post of mine I posted two years ago to find your reply.
        Michael I have no blog but a website, so you can’t leave messages there. You only can write me an e-mail using the links provided with each article. E-mails I haven’t received from you since months.

        You’re right about the fellowship. I know it and am glad to live in it. It’s the LIFE the Lord promised for all who allowed Him to be truly Lord over ALL areas of their lives. This means death to all that remained from our past. As long the past isn’t done away with it will hinder true fellowship in the Son.

        I love to see the change in your past postings.

        Blessings

        Like

      • Michael says:

        Markus,
        So good to hear from you again. Thank you for taking the time to write. I have thought about you often and our sister we both know as well. Yes, God has been working me over, for sure. Maybe I am coming up to speed with where you are at? I am experiencing the fellowship of HIS sufferings as He lets me feel what others are going through personally and praying for them. He has made me to be an empath I guess as it is an answer to a 14 year old prayer of mine. Not always so fun, but His love compels me. “That I may know Him… the fellowship of HIS sufferings and be conformed unto His death.”

        Love you, my brother.

        Like

  6. Mike Messer says:

    This was just beautiful Michael!! What an absolutely stunning example of our transformation in Christ AND our ressurection. For those looking for proof of this incredible miracle, one needs to look no further than what you have written here. God is forming His sons according to His eternal purpose and not one who has been preordained will be left out. Oh! The magnificence of His wonderful purpose for us in Christ Jesus!!

    Thank you for this wonderful post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike,

      One other aspect of the butterfly larva which I didn’t mention is that it grows so fast that it has to shed its skin or moult periodically as it increases in size. When this happens it goes into a kind of dormancy for a while then springs forth out of its old skin with new energy and starts eating again.

      I find that this also is what we go through. We can eat of the Spirit and grow to a point and then we go through times of intense pressure (the real meaning of the Greek word translated “tribulation”) in which nothing seems to be happening but trials. We have reached the end of the elasticity of our wine skins, so to speak. Being you can’t put the Spirit’s new wine in old wine skins, the old one has to be discarded to make room for new revelation and the new growth that He has for us in Christ. So we feel all this pressure and struggle for a while until we break out of the old mold we once grew in. The end goal never changes, though, for our growth always has the Son of God in view as its divine pattern… that we might become many sons (and daughters) unto the glory of the Father.

      How many of us refuse to move on, though? We are so comfortable with and so identify with our old wineskin, that old caterpillar skin, that we become like Moab and refuse to be poured from vessel to vessel and would rather settle on our lees (dregs) and become cloudy ever time we are jostled in our daily lives and our own taste remains in the wine (see Jer. 48:11-12) instead of the bouquet of Jesus.

      “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection…” (Heb 6:1 KJV).

      Like

  7. Mia says:

    Hi dear Michael

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of the butterfly. I amazes me how our Pappa God actually tells so much about His Kingdom’s ways through nature.

    I want to go as far as to say, unless we don’t go through the transformation process of suffering, totally alone in the cocoon of His love, no transformation will occur. But we need to trust that this is a great work of love from His hand.

    From a woman’s point of view, I like to explain this to others through using something we ladies are familiar with.

    I love doing crosstitch. I see the beautiful pattern that I am creating, just like Pappa sees the person He is transforming us into. Every beautiful stitch hurts us and we might not yet see the end product, but He does. That is all that matters to me, for I have learned that suffering is just His hand of love disciplining me into butterflies for His glory. Not a single bit of worm can remain.

    Oh, Michael, worm soup we need to become, to become vessels for His glory!

    I had to wait a bit before I could truly concentrate properly on your post for the Fibrofog was pitching its tent solidly around my mind.

    Thank you again, dear friend, and love and blessings to you and your wife.

    Much love
    Mia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mia!

      Yes, the older I get the more I want to make sure that I do not miss all that God has for me in Christ. The caterpillar is like that seed Jesus spoke of and portrayed that must fall into the ground and die– loose all its former form so that a more beautiful and enduring and life filled form might spring forth, giving life to others. God’s creation is all a letter from Him that we might read it and understand His ways. The clearest Letter of all is the life, death and resurrection of His Son and His life continues to work in us. Praise His name.

      Like

  8. Andrea Johnson says:

    Thank you for the encouraging and powerful post. It is timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dimple says:

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for writing about this transformation; I thought of Psalms 139 as I read. The metamorphsis is truly a *new* birth: first Father knits us together in our mother’s womb, then He presides over our transformation from worms into butterflies. Awesome!
    Louise

    Liked by 2 people

    • Louise,
      “Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psa 139:16-17 RSVA). There it is again. He has know our end from the beginning, from the very foundation of the world. We know that God’s ways are not our ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. It is almost like God, knowing the end of all things, fashioned everything from the end back to the beginning in reverse order. He knew and knows what He formed us to become in Christ and then put in motion from the beginning all that it would take to get us there. Oh, what faith He has for us as we see Him as our All in all, the very faith of His Son, Jesus Christ is even ours to walk in.

      If you folks ever get down to Coeur d Alene, give us a call and maybe we could meet for coffee or something.

      Michael

      Like

      • dimple says:

        Thanks, Mike.
        Your liking my comment, two years later, was of God.
        Blessings~
        Louise

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        My dear sister,
        This is interesting, because I never do that and it was the Lord that prompted me to do it when I saw your comment again while looking at my article that another blogger brought to mind as she wrote on the same revelation. I am blessed that God touched you with this simple act of obeying Him. I hope everything is well for you and your in your neck of the Idaho woods.
        Bless you,
        Michael in Coeur d Alene

        Like

  10. Wow! How striking! Though it is entirely different in wording, I am shocked (pleasantly so) to realise just how very similar both our articles are! Two years apart and the Lord shows us the same lessons…only that we wrote it differently (you wrote yours, ofcourse, much more articulately than I managed to).

    Moral of the lesson being the same. I know I am that Caterpillar going through so much and it is mind-numbing at times how dormant my life seems to be. I say SEEMS because I know and have learned that what seems to be is very much different from what IS.

    Thank you dear brother for leading me to this aritcle.

    I am often left speechless…but know I agree whole heartedly.

    Peace to you and your family .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Ngozi,

      Yes! How wonderful it is when the Spirit teaches the same lesson 2 years and 5,000 miles apart. There is One Spirit and One Lord and One Teacher who is giving us these precious lessons to help us see with spiritual eye those things which can not be seen or made sense of in our natural was of thinking or seeing. Even when there is nothing going on in the outward which seems to be dead looking at our chrysalis, “though the outward man parish,” there is something going on that is miraculous on the inside, “our inward man is renewed (made new) day by day.” “Faithful is HE who has called you for HE will do it!”

      You are a blessing, dear sister!

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

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