Last night, I was able to sneak way for a couple of hours and enjoy a little time with some girlfriends. Our hostess asked everyone to wear their best wig to add a little flair to the evening. We had a blast laughing at the wig each woman pulled out of a closet, the attic or borrowed from someone and how by simply wearing a wig, each woman's appearance was slightly altered. Yet, each woman was still the same person distinguishable by their laughs, their mannerisms, and the sound of their voices. We might have played a little bit of dress up but putting on a wig did not transform the core of who we are. I thought this was such a fitting example of our second verse.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
Have you ever stepped back to consider how much our world and our culture shapes the way you think, the way you act, and even the way you make decisions? The Greek word for conform in this passage means “to fashion oneself according to another’s pattern.” It’s the image of putting on a costume or a mask in order to act like someone else or to be accepted by a certain group. Paul does not begin this verse with a request but with a command to believers to not fashion themselves according to the pattern of the age in which they lived or the acceptable standards of their society. Rather, he says to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The Greek for transformed is metamorphoó meaning “changed after being with.” Paul’s use of the word conform denotes an outward action, or even a conscious choice, though it may be subtle, to act according to another’s pattern. However, he immediately implores believers to be transformed or literally changed by the renewing of their minds. This transformation or metamorphosis is something that comes from within and changes us not only inwardly but transforms us outwardly as well.
Look again at the definition of transform – changed after being with. Being with what? What do we need to be with in order to be transformed and renew our minds? The answer is Jesus and the most tangible way we have to spend time with Jesus is Scripture. This, my friends, is why we are doing this Scripture Memory Challenge! To live a life that is transformed, a life that is different than the life the world offers. We must read the Word, we must meditate on it, and we must commit it to our hearts and our minds. King David once said, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” As we become more familiar with Scripture and as it begins to permeate our hearts and minds, our lives and our actions will be transformed because of the deeper understanding we have of God’s word. Additionally, we will be more thoroughly equipped to live according to the Word of God and able to stand firm against the patterns of the culture and the world in which we live.
“Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
God’s will for humanity is good, God’s will for humanity is pleasing and it is perfect. But only by renewing our minds do we have to the ability to test and approve or prove to others what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is. As believers, our lives are a living testimony of the Lord Jesus for a watching world to see. Only with a renewed mind and transformed life are others able to see Jesus glorified and are we able to walk in confidence in the way He would have us go. The more our lives are transformed, the easier it becomes to look at the things of this world, the people in our lives, and the daily decisions we must make with an instinctive discernment of God’s will and plan for the world and for our lives.
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I continue to pray for each of you participating in this challenge. I love hearing from you guys and encouraging you in any way I can. Nicole over at Nicole Baldridge Designs has once again hand lettered our verse. You can save the image below to use as a lock screen.