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Friday, September 9, 2016

Moving Toward Lasting Change

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

Bottom Line:
Don’t just copy the world around you. Let God transform you by changing the way you think.

What this means to me:
I am not to conform and copy the behavior and customs of this world. Rather I am to let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Then I will be able to see and know what God’s will is for me.

What I’m learning is that to have lasting change, I need to refocus my thinking. 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. Whatever I focus on is what I move toward.

Today’s verse gives me the blueprint for changing my thought patterns:

“Do not conform …” How often do I let other people shape my life and thinking? God doesn’t want me to be like someone else; he wants me to be the person he made me to be. So don’t copy, don’t conform, don’t try to be like anybody else.

“… the pattern of this world.” Pattern means the model of everything I’ve learned in life. If I am to change, I’ll have to change my pattern or model of living that I’ve learned. 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.

How does this happen? Ephesians 4:22-24 tells me to: “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires ... be made new in the attitude of your minds; and ... put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV).

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

This means, I’m going to have to let go of the old attitudes, the old thought patterns, the old images that I’ve been living with so that I can put on the new garments God has for me.

Today I will consider what “old stuff” I need to take off so that God can renew my thinking.