All Heroes of the Bible had the ability to change within. They didn’t remain the same within. They transformed into someone special.
Over the past several years, there’s been a lot of noise about the extreme makeovers made to houses and bodies. Billions of dollars every year go for physical makeovers. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve and look better, but I’ve learned that true change begins on the inside, in our thinking. Long-term change always defaults back to what you believe about yourself. Your self-esteem, your sense of value, your level of confidence from the inside always overrides the outside. WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT YOURSELF WILL SET YOUR LIMITS FOR YOUR LIFE. For that reason, the enemy will constantly keep you looking at your own faults.
There’s a wrestling match within, between who you want to be and who it’s easy to be. It’s easy to be common and natural. Anybody can do that, but it’s not easy to be who you and God want you to be – supernatural. That requires real change on the inside.
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t think you are talented, you will never tap into your true abilities. If you don’t think you have much to offer, your own thoughts will stop you from contributing your amazing talents and abilities. If you don’t think you are attractive, those negative feelings will stop you from blossoming into the beautiful, self-confident person God created you to be. True change begins on the inside.
A problem many people have today is they don’t really like themselves. They usually won’t tell you that, but it’s true. I remember not liking myself. Many people come to the Lord because they are going through a bad time, but that wasn’t my case. I simply did not like who I was, so I wrestled. I looked ok on the outside, but on the inside, I always defaulted back to my failures. People focus on their faults and relive past disappointments. They replay the videos of their failures over and over in their minds then wonder why they don’t enjoy life or have excitement about life. The thing is you cannot be negative about yourself and expect to live a positive faith-filled life of abundance. You need an extreme makeover on the inside.
We need to think like the heroes we are. You need to think like a champion. Instead of thinking, “I don’t have anything to offer. I’m not attractive. I’m not talented,” think “I am a masterpiece. I am one of a kind. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I’m talented. I’m creative. I have great ideas.” Don’t allow what you think about yourself to limit you. Think “out there” instead of “back there.” Instead of thinking, “I never catch a break. Nothing good ever happens to me,” think, “Goodness and mercy follow me every day of my life. Everything my hands touch prospers. I am crowned with the favor of God.” Don’t default back to old fault thinking.
When I was a boy, we raised a few hogs on our farm. I was in the 4-H and would enter my favorite hog in the fair. I would give my sow hog an extreme makeover. I would bubble bath that hog. I would exfoliate her skin and trim her hair. I would give that hog a pedicure by trimming her hoofs and putting polish on them. I would have botoxed her wrinkles if available then. I’d put a bow around her neck. When finished, people would say, “Son, you have one hot looking hog.” I would show my hog and every year I won Grand Champion with my hot hog. But you know what? As soon as we took that hog back home, unloaded her from the truck, and put her back into the pin, that hog went straight to her mud hole. She didn’t show all the other hogs her pedicure, ribbon, polish, and exfoliated skin. Within seconds, that sow hog was as dirty and filthy as she was before. I could change the outside of that hot hog, but lasting transformation never came from the inside. The hog de-FAULTED back to her mud hole.
I watched an interview on Oprah with a man who lost over 250 pounds, but sadly gained it back. The man had a sad face and admitted there were no justifiable reasons for his weighing 500 pounds. He simply said, “I guess I will always be fat in my mind.” He defaulted back as we have all done.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND…
Something must happen in your mind first. The word translated transformed is the Greek word metamorphoo. We get our English word metamorphose. We all know how a wormy caterpillar will metamorphose into a butterfly. The Bible is saying we are right now this minute in something that is serving to transform us. The Bible is saying if we will get our minds going in the correct direction, we will transform and move in a not only new, but an amazing direction.
The hairy, wormy caterpillar is not attractive. In fact, it is somewhat sad and repulsive. It slowly crawls through life existing on whatever it can crawl to eat. However, God has predestined that hairy, wormy caterpillar for transformation. Inside the wormy caterpillar are two important things. There is a cocoon inside and there is a butterfly inside. You can’t see them, but they are there. One day, the cocoon comes out of the wormy caterpillar and it shakes off the old skin of the wormy caterpillar. Then, one day, a beautiful butterfly comes out of the cocoon. The butterfly becomes totally free from the wormy caterpillar and from the cocoon and gracefully flies with the wind. Instead of crawling around eating only what it can crawl to eat, it flies to the choicest sweet nectars on the most beautiful and colorful flowers. It’s no longer inside the captivity of the cocoon. That’s the kind of transformation the scriptures are talking about if we renew our minds. It’s a change from the inside out. Important things are inside you.
We don’t like to think about it, but we all begin with “wormy thinking” with wormy thoughts eating what we crawl to eat. We ate, “I’ll never be out of debt. I’ll never be successful. My marriage will never be good. God will never bless me. I’ve made so many mistakes. I don’t deserve it. I’m just a worm.” No. You are predestined.
Romans 8:29-31 For those God foreknew HE ALSO PREDESTINED to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. WHAT, THEN, SHALL WE SAY IN RESPONSE TO THIS? If God is for us, who can be against us?
What should our response be to God transforming us? Let’s make certain we get it. What/Who is inside you wanting to come out? The likeness of Jesus. God has it all planned out for each of us to go from a caterpillar to a Monarch Butterfly, but here is the key: IT’S NOT UP TO GOD. IT’S UP TO US. God’s for us, but you have to go through the transformation and the metamorphous. How?
Negative thoughts keep you in caterpillar form. The metamorphous begins in your mind. You have to think, “In me right now is a great father.” “In me right now is a great mother.” “In me right now is an addiction free hero.” “In me right now is disease free person.” “In me right now is the successful person I dream to be.” “In me right now is a hero.” My response is if God be for me, who can be against me? If you are in Christ, you are in the metamorphous of the Spirit and being transformed RIGHT NOW! You are predestined, but you must have the correct response.
Some of you have been in the cocoon way too long. God is ready to take you to the most beautiful flower you can imagine and let you eat the sweet nectar of life. You need to say, “It is my time for me to transform. I am coming out of this cocoon. I’m going to fly. I am who God said I am. I am going to change my life by changing the limits I’ve put on myself.”
A sculptor looks beyond the bark, knots, and flaws of a piece of wood and sees the precious carving locked inside. A sculptor looks beyond the piece of hard jagged rock seeing the amazing image locked within. God looks beyond your rough bark, knots, jagged corners, and flaws and sees the hero within. What do you see? People see two things: a caterpillar and a Monarch Butterfly. They see what is easy to be and they see what they and God want them to be.
In the scriptures, a person was named according to their character. However, if they transformed/metamorphosed, changing their character, their name changed accordingly. We could say, when the hero inside came out, they became a different person. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Solomon became Jedidiah. Simon became Peter. Saul became Paul. Those are only a few transformed people mentioned in the scriptures and all are HEROES OF THE BIBLE because they were able to transform and metamorphous.
Jacob, a son of Isaac and Rebekah, was a twin born seconds after his brother Esau. He came out of the womb grabbing – grabbing at the heel of Esau. Jacob means heel catcher (i.e. supplanter). Supplant means to get by means of scheming and deceit. Jacob lived up to his name. He was like the sow hog. He seemed cleaned up, but always went back to wallow in the mud. He was dishonest. He lied. He deceived people. Surely, God wouldn’t use him. God is the master sculptor. God looks beyond the mud, knots, jagged edges, caterpillar, and cocoon. Jacob was predestined just like you.
Jacob schemed away his brother’s birthright. Later, he schemed away his brother’s blessing with an amazing act of deceit. Jacob’s father Isaac was nearly blind. Isaac told Esau to go hunting, bring him venison and when he returned, Isaac would give Esau the blessing. The blessing was extremely important in those days. Before Esau returned, Jacob disguised himself as Esau who was a hairy person. Jacob put on the skin of a goat and took his father goat’s meat as venison. It worked. Esau learned of it and enraged, said…
Genesis 27:36 Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!"
Jacob went through the first part of his life scheming and being schemed – two wives, children by two other women, thirteen children, and a trail of wounded people in every relationship he ever had. He was a wormy caterpillar grabbing what he could get. Finally, one day, Jacob came to a place in life where he found himself alone and he didn’t like who he was with – himself.
Genesis 32:24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
Scholars talk about Jacob wrestling with an angel and that’s fine, but I think the person Jacob wrestled with was himself. Within Jacob, a wrestling match took place. He was in the cocoon and it was time to come out. Jacob wrestled with who he was verses who Jacob and God wanted Jacob to be. It was time for the extreme makeover. The Bible says he wrestled until daybreak. Finally, Jacob began to see who God predestined him to be. This time Jacob would not let go. This time Jacob got the blessing and transformed.
Genesis 32:26-28 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
The deceiver Jacob became the Christ like Israel. Israel means he will rule as God. Inside the supplanter was an Overcomer. Inside of the caterpillar was a Monarch Butterfly. Inside the rock was an amazing person. Jacob’s life changed and he became a nation called Israel. Inside of Jacob was a nation.
When you look into you, what do you see? With what/whom do you wrestle inside? You’re not really wrestling with God or an angel. You are wrestling with whom you know God wants you to be and with whom you want to be. You’re not even wrestling with the devil. You are wrestling with you. Don’t let go until you get the transformation. That’s where your beauty awaits. You may have failed a thousand times like Jacob, but there’s something amazing inside of you. People may have tried to push you down, but there is a hero inside of you. You may have missed some opportunities, but a hero is inside of you.
I want to say this and then we will close for today: What people say about you and what you have done in your past will not change what God put inside of you. You are predestined to do something great and important. Some of you are held back only by your own thoughts. You put limits on yourself by how you see yourself. You wrestle with yourself. Today, don’t let go until you win. Don’t go another day without getting your blessing. It’s daylight. It’s time to see what God’s put inside you. It’s time for an extreme makeover beginning on the inside. It’s up to you to transform. Shake off the caterpillar skin. Shake off the dried cocoon skin. You are valuable. You are forgiven. Defeat the strongholds of inferiority and insecurity. Instead of dragging through life like the caterpillar, transform into the Monarch Butterfly and fly to the sweet nectar of life. You have goals to reach. You have dreams to fulfill. You have people to influence. Begin your transformation today by changing how you think about you. Be like Jacob and FIND THE HERO WITHIN.