Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT
We all want to “fit in”. We find out what’s trending and we follow. Many say they want to be “unique” or “stand out”. Yet, we make choices based in what is popular. We work at being wanted.
Paul sensed that believers in Rome were wrestling with the same kind of “wanting”. He encourages them to resist conformity to socially accepted other-kingdom standards. He writes, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” Instead of being a copy-cat, these believers were commissioned to change into Kingdom-minded thinkers.
When we allow God to change the way we think . . . we are transformed.
Transformation Requires Transparency. Honest introspection with a Holy God inspires transformation. The prophet Isaiah experiences his own inadequacies when he falls before an exalted Lord. He writes, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.” (Is 6:5 NLT). The first step in being transformed is being transparent. It’s embracing Who He is and who I am. We become candid with our Creator. It’s aligning our passion with His purpose. John writes, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you . . . this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” (1 Jn 2:15, 17 NLT)
Transformation Requires Truth. We are always looking for the next measurement of meaning. Because our God is unchanging, His standard of significance never changes. Jesus tells us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6 NLT). He also says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NLT). Transformation begins with transparency built on honesty with our God and with ourselves. James E. Faust writes, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
Transformation Requires Trust. Transforming change comes when we have confidence in our Creator. Solomon reminds us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Prov 3:5-6 NLT). He becomes our Hope and our Help. Jeremiah writes, “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” (Jer 17:7 NLT)
Transformation Requires Time. This kind of transformation takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. We are a daily work in progress yielding to the will of our Divine Planner. Paul writes, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Phil 1:6 NLT). What God begins; He will finish. We give in to Him and He never gives up on us.
Norma Belcher writes, “The more we love God the more we will obey. The more we obey the more we will be aware of the reality of Christ in our lives. The more we are aware of Christ in our lives, the more victory we will experience. The more victory we experience, the less difficult the choices are and the less conflict we have within ourselves.”
The following lyrics by Hillsong remind us of God’s work . . . from the inside . . .
“Your will above all else, My purpose remains.
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise.
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades.
Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame.”
“My heart and my soul, I give you control.
Consume me from the inside out Lord.
Let justice and praise, Become my embrace,
To love you from the inside out.”
Let’s not be conformed . . . let’s be transformed.