While in prayer, my thoughts gravitated toward Romans 12:2
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.
I am not going to tear this verse down using Greek words, although, that has been my modus operandi while a young man digging into the Book I love. I wanted to learn all I could about God. Instead, here, no Greek, just the thoughts of a septuagenarian whose love for God’s Word is as excited as it was when I held that first Bible gifted to me as a child. It will be your privilege to affirm or correct my thoughts.
This verse came to me in prayer because our youngest is heading to an interview today for full-time ministry and my prayer is that not only would God’s good pleasure, His desire, His will, be done in this situation—and my son’s life—but that my son and daughter-in-law together would be able to affirm that it is so. This is never a “given” for a christian, else, Paul would not have had to say what he said here.
Many christians, dare I say it, are mentality and, consequently, in life style, too much a part of their current culture. I do not speak of culture as simply the context of a peaceful and meaningful life. I speak of the socially acceptable aspects that we would call “worldly” that endorse sinful practices which displease God. I speak of a frame of mind that God has clearly sought to correct in us. Be not conformed to this world. Be not think like this world thinks. Do not be comfortably a part of this world to the exclusion of what God wants for your life, to the exclusion of participating in His desires toward you.
But to reach this point we may need some form of mental transformation. We need to rethink, relearn, we shape our perspective on life, on our own life. From childhood into adulthood, our minds to one degree or another, have been trained to think of our experiences in a way foreign from God’s way of seeing them. We fail to appreciate what God allows and what He accomplishes in our lives because our mindset, our worldview, our perspective on things that happen to us has been in part formed by our culture, our environment, academia, or in some cases by abuse, grief, and pain.
We need to be renewed in mind. My 1 year old granddaughter does not need to be renewed. She comes “new” with, what I call, an innocent faith. She is more capable of understanding God’s will for her life as acceptable, perfect and good than we are because there are no preconceived forms of logic interfering with that understanding. The drawback for her would be knowing these words but this isn’t a matter knowledge but of faith. It isn’t the words themselves that should be our focus, but the God who spoke them. My granddaughter is showered with love and she is constantly laughing. She is a happy child. Should we be happy children of God. [Is that not what the Beatitudes are saying?]. Shouldn’t we be able to say, Lord, if you accept it for me, I accept it, too. If you ask me to go there, I pray I shall be as excited to go. I this is what you want of my life, I pray you help me to want it joyfully, too.
God’s “will” for us is three-fold. It is good for us. God will never lead us where His grace cannot keep us. Jeremiah reminded us [Jere 29:11]
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
His will is perfect for us, it fits our personality, our talents, our abilities, and our preparation for it. It is our virtue, our goodness, what we do best. [2 Peter 1:5]. God’s will for our life is the best thing that could happen to us in terms of our sense of achievement, success, accomplishment, fulfillment, meaningfulness, peace, to name a few.
We have to reach the place with a renewed way of thinking to say to the Lord, “Lord, I want it!” We need to learn to accept His will for us. There are many challenges to this simple fact: fear, laziness, still needing God to work on our minds. We may be scarred from an abusive past or so deeply committed to things we should never have gotten involved with in the first place to find an easy way out and back to God’s will.
Something to “think” about.