We're told in Romans 12 not to be conformed to the pattern of this world. But instead, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is in the context of offering, through the mercies of God in Jesus (as spelled out in Romans 1-11), our bodies, as living sacrifices to God, in worship. Along with that comes, what I take to be a process in this life, of the renewal of our minds.
So many things get in the way of our living the life of God's will for us in Christ Jesus. You name them, they're there. And these things impact us. They're matters that matter to us. Sometimes legitmately; oftentimes, maybe in the way we're going about it, or in themselves, not legitimate.
We heard a recent chapel speaker where I work, who made a good point. It's our passion, or passions that drive us. More than our faith. You can say you believe in Christ; even that you have committed your life to Christ. Yet not stop following a passion that you know is not according to God's revealed will in Scripture. I would say (maybe he said it) that at the heart of true faith, as God would have it for us, there is a drive and a passion, to draw us into the passion, suffering and heart of Christ. We must follow, even when all in us would not.
Our minds need renewing. As the passage tells us, so that we can understand God's good, perfect and pleasing will. But unless we press on towards that, we will fall short. We will fall into the worldly way of living, which is not the mind of Christ or the will of God for us in Christ.
Prayer and Scripture all day, as much as possible, are keys for me. But so is the communion with others who are trying to walk with God in Christ. Seeking to live as those following Christ. Seeking to see, hear, listen, act, live and speak with the mind and heart of our Lord.
This is a process. So let's not beat up on ourselves as we see our deficiencies. It is good that we see them. A mercy from God. So that we can apply our minds to the needed transformation of God for us, in Christ. A transformation that gradually can change our outlook. Giving us new insight and vision. And help us live in the good life and will of our God. And keep doing that, again and again, as needed. Which it will be.
What have you learned about this transformation by the renewing of your mind in Jesus? What helps you in this? Or any other thoughts, of course.
One postscript I would like to add to this. We little understand or appreciate the place and power of community, the community of God in Christ, for the accomplishment of the renewing of our minds and transformation of our lives. So much can go on in that context to help reform us in Christ. This is like a missing link, in this "equation" that is surely needed much more.