“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 12:2
With a few trips and countless miles behind me, I have had quite a bit of time to think and ponder the image of transformation, the practicality of a mindful change and how this actually translates into daily living. It has been a very interesting and revealing quest in seeking understanding of God’s Word for me. All-be-it, very humbling!
When transformation takes place it is understood that something (whatever that is) becomes something else. Applying Romans 12 then, this would suggest that I, me, this person, would become something completely different at the renewing of my mind . . . I, me, this new person. This is good of course, I long to be the man God wants me to be and to live according to His purposes. But it seems, however, that in order for that to truly occur, my mind must think differently — my mind must think like Christ — my mind must have the mind of Christ’s. After all, that is what having Christ live through me looks like. Right?
But how do I do it? How do I make this transformation occur? I know! Read, Read and Read some more! That will certainly transform my thinking. Well, while reading is certainly good and especially if it’s in God’s Word, it alone is not going to transform me into something else. There has to be more to it than that! Oh, I know — I must do something different! Talk different, drink different, eat different, walk different, dress different — by doing these things I will certainly change into something different. Again, when I simply rely upon myself for transformation I will always fall short of what God is trying to do in and through me to bring me further in fellowship with Him. Plus, reading and doing are both built around me trying to change me! Until I understand the Truth that sets me free (John 8:32), I will always be the one in control and He wants us to fully surrender everything to Him! Remember what Paul said about this process? “. . . that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. So we need to get out of His way and freely allow Him to do His good work!
Over the last several months I’ve been wrestling with understanding what and how to fully trust, completely depend upon, surrender, have faith and walk in peace. I’ve asked over and over, “What does this look like?” and “How does this feel?” I understood the meaning of trust, surrender and faith — I even got the word peace — but why in the world was I not feeling it? I just had to understand these concepts in order to flush them out in my life, but somewhere in my head I reached a block wall and it no longer translated clearly.
I found myself, once again at a loss for clarity. That’s when God reached, when the time was right and perfect and cleared my fog. All these miles in deep ponder began to uncover a Truth that only in Him, made sense. God began to reveal His Truth in that the “renewing of my mind” was not going to take place in my head! I know, that’s the first place I looked too! And, not only did I look there, I camped there. I wrestled with understanding what it meant to transform, to trust, to have faith. I needed evidence and instructions, descriptions and expectations — I needed answers before I was going to fold my hands across my chest and fall backwards into the arms of a Stranger.
My being transformed by the renewing of my mind was not going to come from me thinking differently, understanding more clearly or walking in the paths of “righteousness.” The renewing of my mind was going to have to start in my heart, not my head! The most logical place to start appears to be in my head so I have spent countless hours attempting to clear and refill my mind. While good, it too will lead to death — it must start in my heart!
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12
by: Mark Cruver