“Do not conform 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.” Romans 12:2
Being a Christian in this world is hard. I think it’s always been hard. Two thousand years ago, three hundred years ago, and today – it’s not an easy thing to be in this world but not of it, to be a follower of Jesus Christ when it seems as if everyone else is sprinting in the opposite direction. But, that is exactly what we are called to do. To go against the grain. To swim upstream.
God’s Word draws the line very clearly here when we are commanded to not conform to the ways, patterns, and mindsets of this world. Yes, commanded. I don’t believe that God gives us many suggestions in His Word, nor a whole lot of options. When He said to come and follow Him, He meant to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. This means to lay down our agendas, our plans, our desires, and take up His in return, and a significant part of this call is to allow Him to transform the way we think.
A couple questions for you all today:
1. Does God have complete access to every part of your life, thoughts included?
2. Are you willing to allow God to change you, to strip away the parts of you that are not beneficial, and to transform you into what He wants you to be?
3. Do you want to be able to discern good from evil, right from wrong, your will from God’s will?
The truth of the matter is that question #3 can become a reality for you if you’re willing to answer “yes” to questions 1 and 2. This is exactly what Romans 12:2 is trying to reveal to us. When we refuse to allow the world around us to shape and define us, and rather allow God to do that work in our lives, we become wise and discerning. When we stop allowing the world and its reasoning to shape our theology and worldview, and rather choose to allow the Word of God to shape our thinking, we begin to put on the mind of Christ.
The call today is to surrender to the God who can transform you into someone that is in this world but not of it, therefore transforming the world around you. You want to leave a legacy? Be in this world, but not of it.