How do we respond to God’s great purpose to conform us to the image of His own dear Son? Can anything match the importance of becoming like Christ? We are to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11). How does this occur?
Paul called the church at Rome (and us) to go on being transformed (the meaning of the Greek verb) according to the will of God by the renewing of our minds. “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
The renewing of our minds is essential to the work of transformation. This is why the renewal of the mind is a “must.”
What does the renewal of the mind do for us? Only a renewed mind can “prove what is the will of God.” The renewed mind understands what is good, acceptable, and perfect before God. Discerning the will of God leads us to a desire to want to do the will of God. It is the perfect upward spiral that leads us toward God’s ultimate purpose for our lives.
How do we receive the renewal of our minds? What do I do to allow God to bring about the transformation of my mind? We know from Paul’s other writings that our transformation comes from the the work of the Spirit and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
“Transformation” means the total change that occurs by the work of the Spirit. It is the same word used to describe the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew and Mark. Jesus experienced a complete change, a change that the disciples could not perceive or describe. They were left dumbstruck to determine how to respond.
For the believer, transformation describes a complete change of conduct and character. Transformation and the renewal of the mind lead us from the standards of the world and toward the will of God. When we see God working in the life of a believer, we are often left speechless to describe what has taken place.
We must establish practices (disciplines) that draw us from the mold of the world (being conformed) and toward the renewal of our minds. What are these practices?
Constant study and meditation on the word of God. The word of God is the Holy Spirit’s sword to teach us His will.
Praying constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17) in the Spirit (according to His will and character, Ephesians 6:18).
What specific practices do you employ to renew your mind?