I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Back on October 25 of this year I preached a message on verse 1 of this passage. You can find it HERE. So I will focus my pondering today on verse 2.
As believers, I think we can agree that we do NOT want to be conformed to this world – or as one paraphrase says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold.” And we don’t want to stay the same way that we are. The only other option is to change. Or rather to be changed. To be transformed. Or to use the Greek word that you will recognize, “be metamorphosized.”
Paul tells us at the end of the verse that when we are transformed we will be able to discern God’s will. And who doesn’t want to know what God’s will is? Most of us are regularly asking the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do.” Paul is telling us how to figure out the answer to this question, which is… drumroll please… “by the renewal of your mind.” Two questions immediately come to my mind:
Why do we need our minds renewed? The answer is fairly simple. GIGO. That is computer speak for Garbage In Garbage Out. For years our minds have been programmed by the world. By the music we listen to and videos we watch. By the TV shows and movies we look at. By the books that we read. By what we are taught in school. By social media platforms. Little by little, day by day our minds have subtly been taught to believe certain things. Most of the time we have not even questioned the influence that all these things have had on us. And consequently, we have unconsciously come to believe things about God, about ourselves, about people in general, and about the world that may or may not be true. It’s time to challenge the world’s perspective that has infiltrated our minds. It’s time to have our minds renewed. So…
How do we renew our minds? Again, the answer is fairly simple. TITO. That is “Shay speak” for Truth In Truth Out. Instead of allowing the world to inform our minds we need to allow the Word to inform our minds. So here are a few very practical things that you can do to make sure that your mind is daily being renewed. All of these are things you have heard many times – but sometimes we try to make things too complicated and we ignore the simple answers:
- Read the Word daily – give the Truth of Scripture access to your mind
- Ponder the Word – Don’t just read Scripture, take some time and think about what it is saying.
- Apply the Word – Make sure that you are putting the commands of God into practice. If God says to do something, do it. If God says not to do something, don’t do it.
- Memorize the Word – Find a passage of Scripture that you really like and take the time to commit it to memory.
- Talk about the Word – As you go about your day find someone that you can have a conversation with about what you have been reading.
- Listen to the Word – Make sure that you are in church and hearing the Word being preached and the Word being taught.
- Sing the Word – Tune into a good Christian radio station or use the Pandora or Spotify Apps to sing and worship the Word of God.
- Exalt the Word – John 1 tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen His glory….” Jesus is the incarnate Word of God. Honor Him. Praise Him. Magnify His name. Exalt Him.
May the Lord use this brick to remind you to get back to the basics and to be intentional about renewing your mind.