“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1)
We have been singing a song at church lately that says this very thing: “Lord, I want to be changed from the inside out.” It’s the difference between conforming to the world on the outside or being transformed by God on the inside. When you merely conform, you look and think like everyone around you. This may not appear to be a bad thing if those around you are looking and thinking right; but it only stands to reason that if your admirable qualities are merely the result of positive influence, then a negative influence will generate just the opposite. When the Spirit of God is at work transforming us, all His power is at our disposal, and the result will be you and I at our personal best.
The verse lets us know that this transformation will come as a result of the “renewing of [our] mind,” not the rekindling of our religious fervor. Christianity may involve a “salvation you can feel,” but make no mistake; our Faith stands up to any thinking man or woman’s scrutiny. For that reason, our minds should constantly be engaged in our Spiritual maturity. Superficiality is as stunting in Biblical thinking as it is in any other intellectual pursuit; and it may be one reason we have well nigh lost a whole generation of young people raised in Christian homes. One reason; not the only, of course.
We are often reminded to keep our hearts right with God, but what about our heads? That’s where the real transformation is going on. This is not a one-time commitment here, either. It requires habitual “renewing.” This world is constantly badgering us to think its way, conform to its social mores and succumb to its latest “spiritual” mumbo-jumbo. “Open-mindedness” is the mantra of the day; but I, for one, refuse to allow such uncensored access to my thought processes to anyone but God Almighty and His Word he has given to us.
This verse promises that if we will accept the transforming power of the Spirit of God to renew our minds day by day, we will be rewarded with the ability to know what is the perfect—perfect—will of God for our lives. Not a bad deal, wouldn’t you say? Think like the world, conform to its standards, and you get fear and uncertainty. Think like God, be transformed by His Holy Spirit, and you get peace and confidence. Not that hard a choice from where I sit.