Jim Wolf a Grand Rapids homeless man recently underwent a physical transformation. There is a youtube video detailing the transformation. He got a hair cut, new clothes and looked great. The before and after pictures are incredible. Paul implores us Christians to under go a spiritual transformation, not unlike the physical transformation Jim Wolf under went. Paul tells us: “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) In other words: “Hey Christian now that you are in Christ, don’t go along with the world’s destructive ways. Don’t go along with the crowd just to fit in. Don’t go along to get along.” You now have to be intentional about heading in the direction you in Christ committed to. You are now a Jesus follower, living by the book (God’s word).
It occurs to me that many of us are not intentionally setting out to conform to this world. Yet the movies, music, video games, magazines and things we entertain ourselves with are systematically programming our minds. Our minds are being anchored in this world’s system. We fail to see that there is no neutral ground on this one. The things we listen to, watch, play and read are having a profound influence on us. They are conforming our minds to the ways of this world and ultimately to the ways of the Devil-destruction of self and others. The clothes we wear, the way we wear them, the way we spend our time, the places we frequent, the way we spend our money, all speak to what and whom we are conforming to.
Many of us find it difficult to read through the Bible but can not miss an episode of (fill in the blank). We can not find time to participate in Bible study or accountability group, yet are spending hours playing video games. We find it difficult to sponsor God’s work, but do not think twice about blowing money on the premier of the latest movie or buying the latest gadget. Church attendance is diminishing but our time on facebook and other social media continues to go up.
How can we stop conforming to the world standards?
The only way is to saturate our minds with the word of God. The transformation of our minds comes as we expose our minds to God’s truth through faithful study of God’s word. We want to renew our minds through reading, studying, meditating, singing, speaking and memorizing God’s word. Our arch enemy the Devil is well aware of this truth. So, he works hard to keep us from God’s word, fellowship and church attendance, personal and group Bible study, meditating and singing God’s word. Is it not true that making time for personal devotions is a constant battle? Many times you are “too busy” or interruptions seem to “pop up” from no where as we try to get into God’s word. We have an enemy that is working overtime to keep us from engaging God’s word.
Renewing our minds takes Holy Spirit power and obedient self discipline and there are no short cuts. We can not simply take a renewing of the mind pill and wake up with a completely renewed mind.
Pray to our Lord to give you a deep hunger and thirst for his word. Then set out to pump your mind full of God’s word. “Father renew our minds we pray!” Pastor Cisco