Big Idea: We are all on a transforming journey from initial awakening to perfect union with God…progressing further on this journey requires progressing further inward.

Everyone who commits to a faith journey with Jesus will move through four stages in his/her life:

  1. Awakening
  2. Sanctification
  3. Consecration
  4. Union

 

First Stage of Transforming: Awakening

  • Awakening: an encounter with the living God

Mark 8:27-30 ESV
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”  And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”  And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”  And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

  • Awakening: an encounter with our true self

John 3:5-8 ESV
“Jesus answered (Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

  • Born Again, of the Spirit, means that one’s spirit must begin to develop from infancy

 

Second Stage of Transforming: Sanctification

  • Sanctification deals in four parts:
  1. Rejection of “all blatant inconsistencies with wholeness in Christ” or “obvious sins”- lust, pride, drunkenness, lying etc…
  2. Cleansing of all “culturally acceptable” sins that are contrary to the Word of God
  3. God then highlights unconscious sins and omissions of our life as our mind is healed (this is renewal of the mind)
  4. Lastly, God reveals new ways of thinking and behaving as we become more Christlike

Romans 12: 1,2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”

 

Third Stage of Transforming: Consecration

  • Consecration: Baptism of Love (3rd Baptism)
  • In this stage, the God ‘OUT THERE’ becomes the God ‘IN HERE’

Colossians 1:24-27 ESV
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

  • Two main parts to Consecration and both are held in tension, like a “Tension Bridge”- picture
    • Suffer like Christ
    • Love like Christ God

“The first thing you must learn, dear friend, is that ‘the kingdom of God is within you.’ (Luke 17:21) Never look for the kingdom anywhere but there, within… You need only believe that God dwells in you and never doubt God’s love for you (Guyon)”

 

Fourth Stage of Transforming: Union

  • ‘Spiritual marriage, transforming union, rapturous joy and peace that passes all understanding’
  • In this stage, we are “totally absorbed by God” and He busies the soul with Himself

 

John 17:20-23 ESV
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 

John 17:23
“So that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me”

Conclusion:

Wherever you may be on the “Transforming Journey” with God, you will be required to commit to the process of being spiritual formed by God.

Supplementary Readings:
Guyon, Jeanne. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. SeedSowers Publishing. Jacksonville, FL. 1975
Mulholland Jr., M. Robert. Invitation to a Journey. InterVarsity Press. Downers Grove, IL. 2016