And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you can discern what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The part we like, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
The part we like less? “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…”
Renewing your mind is not…
- You—but more positive
- Your same thoughts—with a dash of hopeful.
- You doing what you want—but feeling bad-ish about it later.
Renewing your mind is not your thoughts at all. It’s trading your thoughts… for God’s Word. Period.
Mantras, encouraging kitty posters and hours of “I think I can, I think I can…” will never lead to transformation. It might make you more pleasant to be around, maybe more encouraging to others (or annoying if your people are melancholy). But same mind, same thoughts will eventually lead to same life, same patterns… same sins.
God is not calling out cynics or downers here, He’s giving the secret to discerning HIS will. And it requires a great deal more than positivity.
His promises are true—not yours.
His Word is alive and active—not yours.
His Word is useful for teaching, correction, and rebuke—not yours.
Renewing your mind requires acknowledging and elevating HIS Word above your own, declaring His Word is true regardless of how life seems or feels. It is emptying your mind, heart, and mouth of everything *except* Him.
And it requires KNOWING HIS WORD.
But, even before that—this: DO NOT BE CONFORMED TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD.
We have no hope of transformation when we are neck-deep in the habits of this world—in its priorities, plans, passions, and principles.
DO NOT CONFORM means to renounce totally and thoroughly. To reject, with finality and certainty.
Friend—none of it is for you. It’s a hard and costly thing. I know.
But, well worth it because…”THEN, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So, I ask based on this verse, can we know God’s will while we are immersed in and committed to all our culture has to offer? You know the answer, you can shout it! Nay!
What are the patterns of this world?
What are the ways of this world?
Look around. Its ways are coarse, stained, cynical, condemning… what else? Notice those patterns. And then, run hard away from them.
Get thee transformed, people.
DO NOT CONFORM. MAKE HIS THOUGHTS, YOUR THOUGHTS. KNOW HIS WILL. KNOW HIS WORD. Live like it is true.