“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4
Every first Wednesday at Word of God Ministries, we baptize men and women of all ages, cultures, backgrounds and social classes. It’s exhilarating to hear the crowd cheer each time someone springs up from the water, publicly declaring “I am a new man/woman, and I’ve decided to follow Jesus.” One can sense the anticipation of a new life rendered as Pastor Earl excitedly declares, “Buried in the likeness of His death and raised to walk in newness of life.” As each person walks out of the baptismal it’s as though they’re walking into this new life, forecasting deliverance with each step.
Having watched nearly 268 baptisms in 2015, I can’t help but wonder what kind of life each one went on to live. I consistently think, what if they really walked in newness of life? What if our cheers were to precede a race well run? What if their confession of faith really marked their day to day walk, and 268 people were now walking the cities of Shreveport and Bossier with new life in their bones and fresh fire in their hearts? What if we all dared to be changed and made into the image of One: Jesus Christ?
One way the Lord has always spoken to me is through nature. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12). Nature has a voice, and it’s singing. I once had the opportunity to watch a documentary on butterflies. I was utterly fascinated by their amazing mid-life transformation. Like Superman in a booth, a caterpillar can go into its cocoon as Clark Kent and return, on the other side, airborne and completely unrecognized. In order to become a butterfly,every caterpillar must encounter the cocoon.
It’s amazing how closely the caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly relate to our life walk with Jesus. It would be astonishing to see a caterpillar enter into its cocoon, only to come out the other side a caterpillar. I would be justified in saying that they missed the entire purpose of the cocoon because the cocoon was never designed for hibernation. It was made for transformation. In that same way, one would be missing the purpose of their salvation,adoption into the kingdom and baptism if they were buried in the likeness of His death, only to be raised to walk in old habits. For the caterpillar, there is no returning to a crawl when it has wings to soar.
“If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:21-24
What is the current transformation that the Lord is calling you to walk through? Perhaps you’ve never known Jesus personally, or you’ve recently placed other things as idols above Him. I want to challenge you to walk wholly surrendered into your own season of transformation until you no longer find yourself crawling through life, but soaring in His purposes for you.