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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Moving Toward Lasting Change

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

Today’s verse, Romans 12:2, says to not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but rather let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. Then I will learn to know God's will for me, which is good, pleasing and perfect.

In the first part of Romans 12, Paul warns me to not copy the behavior and customs of this world, which is selfish and corrupting. But what I’m also learning is that my refusal to conform must go even deeper than just behavior and customs, it must be firmly planted in the values rooted in my mind: Letting God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, re-educates, and redirects my mind will I be truly transformed.

Therefore if I want to have lasting change, I need to refocus my thoughts and my mind. Specifically, I need to change my thought patterns away from what I don’t want to focus on and toward what I do want to focus on. Because whatever I focus on is what I move toward.

Today’s verse gives me the blueprint to change my thought patterns:

· “Do not conform.” How often do I let others shape my life? 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. Be authentic.

· “The pattern of this world.” Pattern meaning the model of everything I’ve learned in life. If I want to change, I have to change my pattern or model of living that I learned thus far. 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? The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 “to 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” (NIV).

This means I’m going to have 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 department store. Before I can try on the new stuff, I have to take off the old stuff.

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

Bottom Line:
Let God transform you by the renewing of your mind, then you will know what to do.

What this means me:
I’m to not be like the people of this world, rather I’m to let God change the way I think. Then I will know how to do what please Him.

In summary, I shouldn’t copy what the world does. Rather I need to let God transform me into a new person by changing the way I think. I need to refocus my thoughts and mind. Focus on what I want to move toward. To do this, don’t let others or the world shape me. Be my real authentic self that God intended for me. If anything, copy a pattern modeled after the life of Christ.

Father it is easy for me to get caught up in worldly values, especially if this is all I absorb. As much as I ask for wisdom and guidance, I still tend to default to leaning on my own understanding. I pray this morning Father that through the Holy Spirit you help me to let you and your Word transform my life. Help me to be authentic, caring and loving. I also ask for help to steer away from the tyranny of the urgent and focus on blocks of time to do the important. Also I pray for you guidance in how I interact with other. These things I ask through your Son Jesus, Amen!

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