Romans 12:2-3

In Romans 12:2-3 Paul continues to exhort us about what it means to truly live for God. It means we are going to have to be and live different than the world around us. “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.” We shouldn’t have the goal of just ‘fitting in’ with the crowd. That may seem like the thing to do – to stay under the radar and not stick out. But Paul tells us not to be a conformer. We shouldn’t just do what everyone else around us is doing.

Rather we are told to be transformed. We need to allow God to take us and change us from being ‘normal’ or the ‘same’ as the rest of the world. How can we be transformed you ask? Paul makes it sound pretty simple. He tells us to be transformed through the renewal of our mind. We don’t just sit back and will transformation. We have to put something different, something new, into our mind so it can change. And the secret input is God’s Word. We are transformed when we consume God’s Word and allow that to fill our mind. It is the secret sauce of transformation. It isn’t willpower on our part. It’s putting the Word in us so the Holy Spirit can use it to transform us.

What benefit comes from transforming our mind? We’ll have the ability to discern God’s will. How cool is that. Too often we seem stymied about how to find God’s will. Sometimes we think God is playing hide and seek with it. But He isn’t. He tells us over and over that He’ll reveal it to us. We need to seek it. We need to fill our skull full of mush with His Word. And when we do, we move way beyond our own ability to discern and ignite the Holy Spirit’s discernment in us. We’ll know fully what is good and acceptable and perfect – the things that make up God’s plan and will for our life as Christ Followers.

Paul exposes a danger that we need to be aware of though related to getting connected with God this way. In a word – that danger is PRIDE. “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” He isn’t saying we should have low self esteem and not believe in ourselves. But he is saying that we need to realize that God is in charge and if anything good happens in us or through us, it is His doing, not ours. At best we are a vessel He uses to accomplish His will. He knows how we should fit into that plan, but when we do, it’s all Him, not us!

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