“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, ESV)
I chose this scripture to memorize over these next 2 weeks because it’s the scripture that our next Academy course will be focusing on all semester long, answering 6 major questions of life from both philosophical view and biblical view.
1. Creation: Where did we come from?
2. Mission: Why are we here?
3. Evil: What is evil, and where did it come from?
4. Liberation: What can be done about evil?
5. Transformation: How do we change?
6. Mortality: How does death relate to life?
What we believe determines how we live.
We all have a theology. We all believe certain things about God and the way he works. Some believe He is non-existent, others believe He is intimately involved in our lives. What we think rules our beliefs, our actions, our way of life. We make up our minds on what is right or wrong, fair or unfair, just and unjust. We use our thoughts to guide our hearts and our actions.
Do not be conformed to this world . . .
Our whole Christian life is a battlefield of thought-ways of the world vs. ways of God. We are filled from the time we are born with many voices influencing our minds “You need to make yourself happy” or “You need to have good self-esteem”, or “You can’t love others until you love yourself first”. The world tells you to build yourself up, and you will be happy! That’s being conformed to the world-believing what the world tells you and living accordingly.
But be transformed by the renewal of your mind . . .
Transform means to change in condition, nature, or character. Think of metamorphosis (Caterpillar to Butterfly). Renew means to restore to a former state; make new or as if new again. These words bring me so much hope! God’s word will transform me (change me) and renew my mind (restore, make me new-better than my original condition). His word will align my thinking to be like His.
We cannot change our actions until we’ve changed our thinking. That’s why it’s so important to renew our minds with the one and only Truth, God’s word. As you start reading God’s word, you find out it is not about “myself” at all. It’s about coming to the end of myself, so that He may begin. God wants to change us, to transform us, but not by our hard work or self-discipline. He wants to work in us by allowing the Holy Spirit to renew our thinking and conform our hearts to His.
That by testing you may discern what is the will of God . . .
There are many answers to life’s questions floating around in the world. It’s important that we consult the Maker of life for His answers. What His will is, not everyone else’s. We need to be able to test the philosophies against God’s will, and differentiate between truth and lie. We need to know God’s answers to these questions, because our beliefs determine our actions.
What is good and acceptable and perfect . . .
That’s why His word is written down for us, so that we may know the path of life and how to live according to His design, which is what ultimately brings us peace and joy!
Heavenly Father, I pray that through this course you would change me from the inside-out. I ask that you would transform my thinking, renew my mind, and conform my heart to Yours. Help me to stay on the path you have paved for me, to delight in Your word, and abide in Your love.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)