Friday, September 26, 2014

For Lasting Change, Off with the Old and On with the N

In review of Romans 12:2a it says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t use this world and its ways as a guide for your life. Instead, let God transform your thinking, then as you do so, you will learn what is good, pleasing and perfect to him.

What this means to me:
I am to not copy and be like the people of this world, but instead, let God transform me by a complete change of my mind. As I follow him, I will learn from my own experience, what is good, pleasing and acceptable to him and what will end us satisfying me. If I want to have a lasting change in my life, I need to refocus my mind. Specifically, I need to change my thought patterns from focusing on what I don’t want to focus on to what I do want to focus on. For whatever I focus on is what I’m going to move toward.

This verse gives me a blueprint to change my thought patterns: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a NIV).

Do not conform …” It’s interesting how often I let other people shape me. God doesn’t want me to be like someone else; he wants me to be the person he made me to be. So I am not to copy, conform, or try to be like anybody else.
“… any longer …” There are a lot of things I started off doing by copying others, these have turned into a habit.
“… the pattern of this world.” Pattern means the model of everything I’ve learned in life. If I want to change, I need to change my pattern or model of living. I need to replace the old, unhealthy pattern with a new one modeled after the life of Christ.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Transformed is the same as the word used for metamorphosis, the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. In the same way, God wants to transform me into a completely new person by renewing my mind.
This can happen if I follow Ephesians 4:22-24, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

This means I’ll need to do some putting off and I’m going to have to do some putting on; and the putting off has to happen before the putting on. It’s just like trying on clothes in a store. Before I can try on the new stuff, I have to take off the old stuff.

I’ll need to let go of the old attitudes, the old thought patterns, the old images that you’ve been living with so you can put on the new garments that God has for me as I become renewed and made more like Christ.

What I fill my mind with is the direction I’ll go, much like driving a car. What I pay attention to and focus on is where the car will go. So, I’ll also need to be careful with what I’m filing my mind with.