Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I’ve had this word on my mind for a few days now and it keeps coming back. Many of you probably know Romans 12:2 by heart. This verse has been running through my mind. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I’ve known about this verse for some years, even committed it to memory but never really applied it to my life.
This verse says several important things to us. Basically it seems we have two roads we can follow. We can be conformed or transformed. Which road we take is the difference between living a life that pleases God or a life that pleases ourselves. When “world” is used in this context, it has the meaning of “the society or system that man has built in order to make himself happy without God (MacDonald).” As we know, this world system for now is under the control of Satan. There was a book written many years ago called The Battle for the Mind or something like that. It was about how Satan most important tactic in the life of a man or woman is to win their minds. Why? Because if he can win our mind, he wins everything.
What does transform mean anyway. The Cambridge dictionary defines transform as “to change completely the appearance or character of something or someone.” The word used in Romans 12:2 is actually the same as metamorphosis. Do you remember that word from your science classes in your school days? The picture is of a furry caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly. God wants to transform us like that caterpillar. He wants our minds to be transformed so that we will love and submit to Him with all our hearts. My deep desire for myself is to have my heart (mind, emotions and will) changed from the inside out so as to love and please the Lord. I am tired of wrestling with God.
How does a transformed mind happen? I only know of one way. we need to think the way God thinks. That can only come through the Word of God as the Holy Spirit of God enlightens our hearts (mind). It means prayer, Bible reading and study, memorizating and meditating on the Word.
I have always liked the comparison of Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters. You know the story. Martha was the service queen of the family. Mary was the pensive and contemplative one always sitting at Jesus’ feet. If we are not careful when we read the narrative, we can think that Martha was blowing it. We need to be careful here. Jesus never chastised Martha for her work. Work and service is a necessary part of the Christian walk. What Jesus did tell Martha was to keep her service in perspective. We need to serve from a God’s perspective, not just serve for service’s sake.
The things mentioned above about (prayer, Bible study, etc.) are all necessary things to grow close to Jesus. But they cannot be done as a “work.” Then it becomes drudgery and we soon give up. Unless I forget, I always pray that the Spirit will enlighten my mind before I get into the Word. Mary had the physical presence of Jesus with her, thus she just clung to Him. But we have something more and better. We Have Jesus with us at all times because He lives in us through the Holy Spirit. I don’t know if it sinks into our minds what a difference that fact should in our lives. We just take it for granted or don’t think about it at all. I think if we would think about more often, we would make better choices with our lives.
According to Romans 12:1-2 there are keys to knowing God’s will. The first key is actually found in verse 1. It is a yielded body. Theologians tell us, and I believe the Bible confirms it, that there are three parts to man: body, soul (mind, emotions and will) and spirit. It is important to yield our bodies to the Lord. The second key is a separated life. This is found in verse 2 where we are told not to be conformed to the world. If we are to truly follow Christ, we must be separated from the world. The third key is to have a transformed mind. A transformed mind will want to follow and serve Christ. The idea of pleasing our self-live will fade and we will be in a loving and close relationship with our Lord. I pray that we will allow the Spirit to transform our minds to submit ourselves and follow Him at all costs. Time is short. May we love our Lord with all our hearts, with all our soul, and with all our might. I believe that love for Him will transform our lives into faithful service to a broken and hurting world around us.