Are you looking to live a transformed life? Do you struggle with living your life in a way that just blends in with society?
“Do not be conformed any longer to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Today, we are going to look at the first sentence of verse 2. Yesterday we looked at verse 1 and we will tie it all together tomorrow after we discuss the second half of verse 2.
“Do not be conformed any longer to this world… “
I so often feel pressure, even in Christian circles, to fit in and be like everyone else no matter what they are doing. As Christians, we are supposed to be different but are we? Paul says here, that we are not to be conformed to this world. Peter calls us a peculiar people. Peculiar in our holiness, in how we love each other, in our priorities, etc. This has the potential to be a very long list, huh? We are to strive to look like Christ – looking more and more like Him as we know Him better and better. We are not supposed to blend in and we are supposed to be peculiar – obviously different from an unsaved person.
They Need a Savior, too.
Why? One reason is so that other people can see Christ in us and so that He is glorified. We cannot be brazen or act as if we are elite. We are not elite, we have simply realized our desperate need for Christ as our Savior and Lord and they haven’t realized it yet. The differences are huge but the beginning difference is simply that. We realize that we need a Savior.
Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
Poor in spirit – means they are aware
“…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
As we are not conforming and we are seeking to know God in His Word, we will be transformed. As we get to know God He transforms us into what He wants us to be a little at a time. If you rearrange the sentence – it may shed more light on it:
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will not be conformed any longer to this world. (Dell’s rearrangement)
But, what does the word renew mean? God makes us new creations when we surrender our lives to Him. As we seek to know Him, in His Word, He teaches us to think more and more like He thinks. Renewing your mind is a gradual process of changing your mind but a wonderful and amazing process. Only by the power of God could reading a book make someone more like Jesus, but I have found this to be true in my own life.
At a time when I was really struggling with a particular temptation to sin in my life, I went into an intense time of study in God’s Word. Though this is a good way to fight temptation, I did not do it to fight the temptation. I just happened to be in a Bible Study that had a lot of homework so I was spending an hour or more daily, five days a week digging and studying in my Bible. After a few weeks of this study, it occurred to me that I was not struggling with that temptation to sin anymore. Without me even trying to get victory over it, I had gotten that victory because God had changed my mind while I spent time in His Word. So beautiful! Don’t you just love HIm!!
When I realized that I was no longer struggling I was amazed. I then understood what I had always heard about not trying to be like Jesus under my own power. That is when I understood that seeking to know Him in His Word would make me different. I do not have to make myself different, I only need to seek God. He will make me different. He is so very good to us!
Coffee Beans to Coffee
Illustrations are supposed to touch your emotions. I can get emotional about coffee. Can you?
We have a cold brew coffee system at our house. It can make great coffee. We buy whole bean coffee because nothing tastes as good as coffee made with freshly ground beans.
If I just throw the beans in the top of the system and add water, then let the water down into carafe immediately we will not get nice rich flavorful coffee. However, if I grind the beans into grounds and fill the tank with the ground coffee and water and let it sit for 24 hours, nice rich flavorful coffee is what we will have.
Kind of like that cold brew – If we glance at a verse while we are running on the treadmill or driving down the road – we are not steeping nearly long enough to get the desired result. We must be in God’s Word in a substantial way. If we are faithful in this, He will be faithful. He loves you and wants this for you!
Things to Ponder:
- Do I/you struggle with fitting in or am I/are you a peculiar person for Christ?
- Am I/Are you spending enough time with God every day, to be transformed as He renews your mind?
- Do I/you believe that God can change your heart as you spend time with Him?