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.” Romans 12:1-2
Everything about the world that we see with our natural eyes is intentionally meant to attract us to the world and and teach us to conform to it. Advertising companies spend millions of dollars on commercials aimed at drawing audiences into stores to buy their newest products, based on the premise that if we use them – we will be just like the people we see in the commercials. Even the movies we watch are meant to condition us to dress, talk, and act a certain way – do whatever it takes to look, act, and feel just like the stars in Hollywood. Consumerism thrives on our desire and ability to conform to the world around us. Earlier than the time we begin to communicate, we begin to learn how to adjust to the world around us by camouflaging with it. The more “normal” we are, the more healthier people assume we are. Society judges us by how well we fit in. School counselors, therapists, even some pastor’s, help “fix us” when we don’t.
When we become children of GOD, though, everything we have been taught about the world’s ways begins to clash with everything GOD begins to reveal about HIS ways. We soon find out that we were initially deceived into accepting a false identity that now must be replaced with a “new man” that Paul describes throughout the book of ROMANS. The more we begin to understand this new man GOD intended us to be, the more we also begin to realize that we have spent a lifetime conforming to images that have been intentionally pulling us away from the original creation that GOD designed and purposed us to be. The world has been trying to produce through us, a world of obedient, cookie-cutter slaves, but GOD is now calling us to come out of the world and be transformed into HIS CHURCH. Instead of THE CHURCH defining what the world should look like – it too has now conformed to the world’s expectations for the sake of “drawing it in,” “attracting a crowd,” “staying relevant to the culture.” Now, no one can really see the differences between the two…THE CHURCH has lost its authority; meanwhile, nothing in the spirit world changes.
So, if this is the problem, than what it is the solution? In ROMANS 12:1-2, Paul commands the Believer to offer his life as a living sacrifice, pleasing to GOD. The world has taught us to live, to live well, to live without regrets, to make ourselves happy…but GOD asks us to come out of the world – give it all up – to present our very bodies to HIM as a living sacrifice to do with as HE pleases. Paul must have understood how difficult of a process this was truly going to be because he went on to say, “and be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He tells the Believer to literally walk away from this world and your nature…letting your entire self be morphed into GOD’S image by completely allowing your mind to be renewed through THE WORD OF GOD.
How is this done?
Paul says “be transformed.” Transformed comes from the Greek word metamorphosis. So, Paul is asking us to allow our entire inward and outward appearance to be changed by THE WORD OF GOD. IT works a lot like a commercial. Commercials bank on you hearing them over and over – so much so, that you find yourself singing their jingles throughout the day and replaying their images when the time arrives where you need a product that they advertise. Then, next time you are at the store and realize you’re out of mascara, you find yourself pacing up and down the make-up aisle reciting the words to the jingle and trying to remember exactly which brand of mascara that commercial was for because it made Penelope Cruz’s eyelashes look phenomenal. Maybe you didn’t even need the mascara; you just wanted Penelope Cruz’s eyelashes. Thus, the power of the commercial…the movie…the pop star…the idol.
So it is when renewing our minds with GOD’S WORD. IT banks on you playing it over and over again in your mind – every time there is a choice, a problem, a word to be spoken – continually playing THE WORD in your mind and being obedient to what it says because we desire to look and act just like JESUS CHRIST – the only person we are to desire looking like. This transformation happens as we become obedient to THE WORD, which has now become the foundation for our new thought pattern and identity. As BELIEVERS, we must carefully examine our lives and find the hidden idols – all of the people we find ourselves constantly competing against and comparing ourselves throughout the day. The only person we are to be like is JESUS, and we can’t do that without an inward change. The world wants to trap us in to conforming….but GOD desires to give us the entire transformation.
I was not created by THE MASTER to be just like this world and conform –
for I was created to be just like HIM and only HIS will to perform.
The enemy tempts and tests me all day, trying to get me to give in to my flesh,
but I know that conforming to what he wants me to do will only lead to my ultimate death.
Just like the caterpillar transforms in the cocoon, three-fourths of most of its life,
I’m supposed to “hide out in Christ” not conforming to heartache and strife.
GOD is calling me to come out of this world, no longer conform to its ways,
so HE can add health to my body and length to all of my days.
My mind must be washed with HIS WORD constantly and stayed fixed on IT throughout the day –
not conforming to this world’s sinful nature, or be in the habit of getting my own way.
Each thought that I have, each word that I speak, each action that I might do –
should always be tested on GOD’S WORD to see if HE would truly approve.
I cannot conform any longer to what I see with my natural eyes.
For it is only a world full of sin that is built with the enemy’s lies.
GOD’S will is more eternal in nature, for HE caused me instead to transform –
to HIS WORD and IT only, which will stand during the darkest of life’s storms.
HE knows what is coming; HE sees what it will take
to get me through to the end, while using me for HIS sake.
HE’S provided HIS WORD to continually renew my mind –
to wash it in HIM, rather than sit dormant and lie
waste for the enemy to use as he may –
ignoring THE PRICE that GOD has already paid.
No, HE’S called me to be set apart; HE made me do HIS will –
so while the rest of the world’s conforming, I will be patient and be still
and allow my mind to be renewed with what GOD has to say,
to test and approve what HE wants me to do, so I’ll be pleasing to HIM throughout my day!