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. Romans 12:2 (ESV)
People always say that the Christian life isn’t easy, but that doesn’t half describe how tough it can be at times. It amazes me how easily we can conform to the world without even realizing it. Small habits creep their way into our lives: a certain way of thinking becomes second nature; we don’t bat an eye when God’s Holy name is used irreverently; or we sit quite happily watching a program that has nothing in it other than ideas which are conforming us to the way this world views sexuality, marriage, divorce or lying. All of these slowly conform our minds to this world’s way of thinking. They get into our daily thought pattern without us even noticing. But we, the body of Christ, the children of God, are to be transformed, transformed by the renewal of our minds.
But what does this mean?
To renew is to re-establish, to revitalize, to renovate. And the only way to do that in this fallen world is through meaningful encounters with our Lord Jesus Christ. A dear lady in our fellowship recently wrote a piece which I find so challenging. Here’s the first verse and chorus:
There’s a cry within me – of the Holy Spirit
To be more like Jesus – to be more like Him
And it’s only Jesus – he alone can change me
To be a vessel – to honor Him
It’s a transformation – it’s a renovation
A mind renewal – from day to day
Not a fearful dealing – but a glad encounter
With the Lord of heaven – all along the way.
Such a challenge to my heart because the problem I face is that while there is a cry and a longing in my heart to be more like Jesus, come Monday morning, conformity to the world starts to shush and silence that cry.
It’s impossible to stress just how vital our daily walk with the Lord is, our encounters with Him. Not just our time reading devotionals but our encounters; talking to Him, listening for Him, being still in His presence, stillness our society knows little about.
The cleaning out of our hearts, this transformation is a day to day process. Don’t beat yourself up, it does not happen overnight, it is a journey with highs and lows. As my alarm goes off in the morning the words that come up on the screen of my phone are – Be more like Jesus.
Asking myself daily:
Can I say today that I am more like Jesus than I was yesterday?
If I am truly honest, most days, my answer would be “No”. No, today I failed Christ. I feel like I took a step backwards rather than moving forwards to be more like Him. But the key is this: He still loves me and I still live with a longing and desire to be more like Him.
Let me leave you with a couple of questions:
Am I content to go through the motions of Christianity? Content to cling to those parts of my life which I know deep within cannot be described as “good and acceptable and perfect” to God?
Or do I long for more? To be more like Jesus?
Lord, I love You. And I thank You and praise You for Your love that never fails. Lord, Thank You for your example, help me to remove those things in life which are not good, acceptable and perfect, those things which cause me to conform to this world. Lord, I long to be transformed, to be a vessel to honor You, to grow to be more and more like You, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.