The Wheel and the Butterfly: 8 Characteristics of Transformation


[Diagram: The Wheel]

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Many of us want to change the world, but we first need to change ourselves…

If we are truly honest, we know we we don’t fully measure up, we are not Gods-gift, we are not the person we desire to be, we constantly fall short of perfection. We are not always our best public face, our effervescent Facebook or Instagram persona. We are not perfect all of the time…

But deep down we desire to be who we were always meant to be

When everything is stripped back and we come to an honest realisation of ourselves, we may gasp as King David did thousands of years ago and confess; ‘I am a worm not a man’ (Psalm 22:6)

But spectacularly, although the caterpillar begins life as a worm it emerges in the end as a beautiful butterfly…

This is nature’s Butterfly Effect-

In this article I want to share the secret of participating in The Divine Nature, how to Practice Resurrection

 

THE CHRYSALIS: Emerging as Pure Gold

A butterfly emerges from a chrysalis- that’s our life story – if we choose to embrace it…

Caterpillars spin a cocoon to protect the naked pupa known as a chrysalis. The word chrysalis comes from the metallic gold-coloration found in the pupae of many butterflies, indeed, chrysalis comes from the word chrysos meaning gold

As the ancient wiseman Job said, ‘He knows where I am going, and when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold’ (Job 23:10)

‘Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory’ (1 Peter 1:7 The Message)

Have you been through fire lately and how did you fare?

As the old saying goes, ‘It’s not what happens to you, but what happens in you and through you’

The caterpillar transformation into a butterfly through metamorphosis has held great appeal to mankind and rightly so, as it symbolises the possibilities of our own transformation.

It is possible for us, like the caterpillar, to undergo a metamorphosis which is really a whole series of changes that we undergo as we are transformed into our true selves. Changed into the likeness of Christ, sharing in his Divine Nature…

But just like the caterpillar, we are to enter the chrysalis, the cocoon.  There is a way we can share in this Divine Nature and be transformed in a way that mirrors the transformation process of the butterfly but there is something we must do to respond to this process…

 

THE WHEEL THAT SPINS US INTO A WHOLE NEW PERSON

A cocoon is a casing spun of silk by many moths and caterpillars. The silkworm is a moth that makes the silk often used to make cloth that can be made into clothes

In a similar fashion, The Spinning Jenny that mimics the spinning of the silkworm was one of the key developments in the industrialisation of weaving during the early Industrial Revolution, it precipitated a transformation of the clothing and textile industry making new clothing affordable to the masses

Our old filthy clothes must be removed and replaced by new white garments of holiness that are spun for us making us ready to do God’s will and live out our calling (the process of sanctification/consecration for service/active duty)

The Wheel when active in our lives precipitates this transformation…

 

THE WHEEL OF LIFE

In the my article on ‘The Movements Engine’, I outline the fivefold process in the development of Movements, but the internal power of movements starts on the inside of us. We must steer The Wheel

The Apostle Peter, the next Movement Planter after Jesus, tells us to ‘make your calling and election sure’ or ‘work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen’ (2 Peter 1:10)

But how do we do that?

There are 8 Stokes in the Wheel that we are to grow continuously in our efforts to be responsive to God’s promises (these are outlined in the biblical scripture: 2 Peter 1:5-7)

These 8 Qualities are essential for Personal Productivity. Steering Our Wheel using these staves leads us to the power of a transformed life

These 8 Qualities or Characteristics act as a kind of Personal Development plan that sets us on track for the resurrection (the Butterfly Effect)

 

THE EIGHT CHARACTERISTICS (8 Stokes of the Wheel)

Faith (1)

Faith in Jesus Christ as our well-spring of life. Absolute trust in his death and resurrection and building our lives on his teachings is the foundation of faith. He has given us great and precious promises that enable us to share in his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. We are to grow in faith whilst also adding to faith the following qualities;

Goodness (2)

Good character or moral excellence. It’s being full of the fruit of the Spirit in a way that permeates our attitudes and thought life. Its speaks of good fruit inside and good deeds outside

Knowledge (3)

This is not merely head knowledge- it’s experiential knowledge of God- growing to know Him more. What’s your relationship with God like- growing or at a standstill?

Self-Control (4)

The mastering of our desires and appetites. Self-control or temperance is knowing when to say ‘no’, when to abstain

Patient Endurance (5)

The ability to persevere under persecution with purity, relying on God in the midst of suffering. Remaining steadfast neither giving in to temptation or giving up during trial put persisting through adversity to reach the goal. Patience does not demand it’s own way, patience with difficult people and situations- not about me, me, me

Godliness (6)

Reverent respect towards God, we continue to praise him and love him even when things are tough and circumstances are trying and difficult

Brotherly Kindness (7)

Love towards our brothers and sisters in the faith, treating each other as family (even if not physically related)

Love for All (8)

Absolute love for God and others (agape), not just those who are afiliated to you, but outsiders, loving even those who hate you, mock you, reject you and call you names

 

A SPIRITUAL PATHWAY

Each of these 8 Spokes are a pathway away from spiritual blindness towards seeing God and spiritual issues more clearly…

If we build these characteristics into our lives, then we will be useful and productive

One turn of the wheel, however is not enough…we are to continue to develop in this way (continue to turn the wheel) being transformed from one glory into another (2 Corinthians 3:18). We may have already been once around the wheel- faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, kindness, love and so on, and even got to ankle depth in these things but there’s always more…we need to keep The Wheel of Life turning…

Growing in these ways helps us to produce something of value, that cannot be burn’t, stolen, rust or be moth eaten

The Wheel represents a higher level of living as Disciples of The Way, the transformation of our inner person, our inner being. Disregarding the wheel leads to inevitable personal character loss

To the degree that we have these Qualities is the degree to which we can be carriers or Vessels of the Glory of God, Vessels of Honour (sharers in the Divine Nature)

The 8 Spokes represent the 8 Characteristics of ‘one who is worthy’, one who is not only called, but also chosen for special work

‘The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 1:8)

 

OUR RESURRECTION BODY

The Biblical Number 8 represents New Beginnings. A New beginning, meaning a new order or creation,  In ancient Israel, boys were circumcised on the 8th day and this signifies circumcision of the heart through Christ, the cutting away of the flesh (our earthly nature- the worm) to reveal the splendour of sharing in the divine nature (our original and future nature- the butterfly). Those in Christ are spiritually already part of the New Creation…but our character must also be transformed through these 8 Spokes, body, soul and spirit

The number 8 also means ‘one who abounds in strength’

The Wheel enables those under pressure, to pass the test, grow their capacity and become like the Phoenix Rising from the ashes or like the Caterpillar Emerging From the Chrysalis…

A Whole New Person, prepared for A Whole New World…

 

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