Friday, December 12, 2014

NTDS (36): Conformed or Transformed?

Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of 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. NIV

In verse one of Romans 12, Paul began to instruct the church, the body of believers in Christ, as to how they should b conducting themselves. He began by teaching that the motivation for this comes “in view of God’s mercy” towards us. Because God loves us and is so merciful to us, we should be happy to follow these instructions.

Here, in verse two, he explains that before we came to Christ, we were conformed to the world. What does he mean by that? Well, think about your life before you became a Christian. How did you view the world? How did you decide what was right and wrong? How did you choose your values? What was your behavior in relationship to God and other people?

The NIV gets the thought across well. When Paul says the “world,” he is speaking about the pattern or ways of the world. The “world system” you might say. The apostle John says in 1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. NIV

It is important to understand that our enemy, Satan, controls the “ways of this world.” He is referred to as the prince of this world (Jn 12:31,14:30,16:11) His influence on the way this world works is not to be underestimated. That, accompanied by the so-called wisdom of man, affects the way we think and act. This is what Paul has to say about man’s wisdom, 1 Cor 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" NIV

Because we have been influenced by the world, Paul tells us that we are to be transformed (changed) by having our mind renewed (renovated). Think of renovating a house. It often means tearing things down in order to rebuild them according to a design. That is exactly what Paul is saying here. We must allow the Holy Spirit to renovate our way of thinking and acting according to God’s design.

The amazing thing is, that when we do that, Paul says we can then discern God’s will in our lives! That is the benefit of allowing Him to renovate us! Have you ever asked the question, “What is God’s will for me or wondered what direction you should take in making decisions? Well, the more you allow God to renovate your mind, the more you can discern His will in the matters of your life.

You might ask, “How does this renewal take place?” It happens as we let the Holy Spirit teach us and shape us. It happens as we study God’s word and apply what we learn from it. It happens as we obey the commands of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We must make a free will choice that we will let God conform us to His will and His ways, rather than staying conformed to the ways of the world.

I pray that you have made the choice to follow Christ and are letting Him rule and reign in your life. When you call Him “Lord,” you acknowledge that He is your master and your desire should be to do what your master asks. Allow Him to transform you, renewing your mind as you daily walk in the power of His Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to “test and approve” God’s perfect will.

God bless you


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