BIONICS AND BUTTERFLYS
If you are younger than 40, you may have never hear of the $6 Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman TV shows, which first ran in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In each show, the lead character had experienced an accident that resulted in their human parts being replaced with machine parts that made them stronger and faster, able to hear or see much better and so forth.
Is this what God is doing with Christians today? Is He replacing our damaged parts with non-human parts that enable us to be super human? The answer, in my opinion, is “yes and no.”
First of all, yes, God is seeking to replace damaged, human parts with godly parts. God promises His people a new heart and new spirit. Ezekiel 36:26 [KJV] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
If we don’t think we have already been given that, we can ask for a new heart and spirit as the Psalmist did in Psalm 51:10 [NIV] Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Another replacement God offers is “holy hands” (1 Timothy 2:8), instead of those that are swift to shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17).
We know that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), at least not naturally, but we can ask for the mind that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) and with His mind our thoughts can become more like God’s.
However, God’s ultimate goal is not to create a better human. He isn’t simply looking to give us superior parts. His goal is a complete change – from human into spirit being.
I’ve seen an encouraging meme that I think applies here. It says, “Don’t try to become a better caterpillar, become a butterfly.” This is even more appropriate to consider once you understand what actually happens to a caterpillar in that cocoon.
Far from a simple transformation process, like a tadpole turning into a frog, the caterpillar’s journey of transformation is much more dramatic.
Quoting from an article at ScientificAmerican.com (link provided below): “First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process.”
I found a blog about this transformation that I thought put it nicely. Quoting from that 2015 blog by Mitch Teemley (link below): “in a process only vaguely understood by scientists, that stew of free-floating genetic material undergoes a complete metamorphosis (“change of nature”). In other words, butterflies are not souped-up caterpillars, they’re entirely new creations made from caterpillar soup!”
God created us in mortal, human form. But we have always had a connector to God that makes us different from the rest of the animal kingdom. We were made in His image, with the ability to take on His nature now – to learn to love as He loves, think as He thinks, act as He does.
The transformation God’s work is us is about is much more in line with what happens to the caterpillar. Nothing of the old, sinful nature will be left. And our bodies will be completely transformed.
1 Corinthians 15:52-53 [NKJV] 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
We won’t have better human bodies. We will have immortal, incorruptible bodies.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God is replacing our human nature with godly character right now, in this life. But, ultimately, God is making butterflies, dear sisters – involving a complete transformation, both physical and spiritual.
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.