Conform or Transform

transformed

When we talk about the power of change, we would be remiss if we left out what the Bible has to say on the matter. A closer look at the first two verses of the twelfth chapter of Romans has some powerful insights concerning how God created our mind. We notice right away some striking statements in the second verse “do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Obviously, our minds are constantly forming neural pathways, influenced either by the world if we make no effort or by God if we work in concert with him toward renewing our mind. I would like to focus on the word transform first. Metamorphoo if directly interpreted means metamorphosis a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. This implies much more than I have ever previously considered on the subject of renewing the mind. Previously I considered renewing the mind more on the lines of cleaning up a room and giving it a new coat of paint. This implies more on the lines of transforming the plaster walls into gold. Do not assume memorizing verses or church attendance, even though both needful and beneficial, neither would transform our mind. The key to me lies in the previous verse.

 

That is that we would present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Once I heard a godly man in response to what he thought about being a living sacrifice replied, “We are all sacrifices we get to choose whether the sacrifice is living or dead.”   There seems to be a direct correlation between submission to God and a transformed mind. Religious exercise apart from submission to God has little benefit to the matter of transformation. However, the same religious exercise in union with God produces a renewed mind. There has been so much fear in some Christians about having a religious spirit that the religious exercises of prayer, bible study, charity, joy, and church attendance are perceived as not necessary. Granted those disciplines without fellowship with God is not the highest that he has for his people. However, neither is communion with God when one neglects religious exercise. Clearly, it is important that we submit ourselves to God and step into the process of metamorphosis.

 

In the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, we find this same Greek word translated as transfigured. When Jesus face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. To me this is a metaphor of what happens in our mind when we encounter God. Every encounter changes us in some way, some of the most productive changes occur in silence when it is just you and him. Reflective contemplative conversations with God are life changing and transforming.

 

Footnotes

1Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 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 12:1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible.

 

2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother john, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. He was transformed in front of them, and His face shone like the sun. Even His clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible

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