Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We’ve been living thru a pandemic for the past 5 months now. For most of that time, if you’re like me and my family, you’ve spent it in quarantine. A quarantine as many now know, is a state, period, or place of isolation in which people that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed. This strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease; however, it has produced tremendous challenges for everyone.
Some people have used the time to thrive, to be creative and find new things to do themselves or with family. Many people have attempted to do just that, but after 5 months (some after one month) have just about gone crazy. They feel like the famous DMX song “I’m About to Lose My Mind; Up in Here.” I contend that we need to all be of that mindset. But before we allow the pandemic and other chaos around us right now cause us to feel like we are losing our minds; why not go all in? We need to lose our natural minds and take on the Mind of Christ. After all; “1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
In order to have the mind of Christ, we need our minds renewed, at least according to Paul in his letter to the Corinthian Church. If not renewed, our minds will conform to the mindset of the world; or a mixture of many differing worldly mindsets. And when left to exercise our own thoughts, Paul said “Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened,” we go dark. Let’s look at the three steps to having the mind of Christ, laid out in Romans 12.
- Stop, You’re Going the Wrong Way: And do not be conformed to this world. Paul beseeches (an urgent and fervent request) the reader in the first verse to take heed of what he had to say. What was so important? Stop, You’re Going the Wrong Way!!! The word he uses is conform, which means to comply with rules, standards, or laws; goes further to state behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards. Most people don’t know this, but we did not always have cell phones. There was once a time when traveling in a car, you had to actually look at a map, prior to leaving or having a passenger in the car follow along with a map to ensure the driver was actually moving in the right direction. We’ve become so accustom to our readily accessible phone GPS that tells is moment by moment directions, which quickly inform us if we go off the corresponding track to our destination. Previously, we could plan and plan but if the navigator (passenger in charge of the map) took his eye of the map for a few moments too long; the drive might loudly hear “Stop, You’re Going the Wrong Way!!!” Paul was acting as the Navigator for Christians both then and now. He is yelling Stop; because many followers of Christ were complying to the wrong rules, they were behaving as was accepted by everyone else, but they were going in wrong direction, away from Christ. Though they thought they were doing the write thing or at least the thing that would get the most approval from everyone around them. Jesus did not conform, as a matter of fact He and His Disciples were easy to target, because the did not do what everyone else was doing. It is time to turn around; be different stop following the trends. Stand Out
- Re-New: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind: The way to Stand Out; to turn and go in the right direction, is to transform. The driver would have to pull over and re address the map to figure out what they now needed to do in order to get back on the correct path. This would require a new route. That is what renewal is; Webster’s defines renew as “to resume (an activity) after an interruption.” Conforming to the ways of the world, is the interruption, to having a mind of Christ. When we find our walk interrupted, we must make a transformation, by the renewing of your mind: I like to take the simple meaning out of a word and to renew, or Re-New, means to continually re-new or making new. Every day, reading God’s Word, spending time with Jesus and walking in obedience to God’s direction. This must happen continually, because the natural mind needs help to submit to the mind of Christ in us a believer. However, there is an outstanding benefit to renewing our minds.
- Live in the GAP: that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God: When we renew our minds and take on the Mind of Christ, we are able to live in the GAP. The Good, Acceptable and Perfect Will of God. What does that look like? It will often result in living in a peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7); when chaos is all around and you should go crazy, but God gives you a calm that makes no sense to the people around you. It can also look like God’s grace given at the perfect time; providing for a need without any notice (Phil 4:19). Or maybe it is just God speaking a Word that may not change your situation immediately, but it changes the way you view the situation (Luke 5:5). As we renew our minds, our lives become transformed and we live, see and hear God in a new way. We dwell in the perfect will of God, and that is the BEST place to be.