I wanted to give this post a different title. Conforming to transform is more what I am going to write about. However, that title might have gotten me thrown off. Our progressive sanctification path is one of conforming our thoughts, purpose, and actions to God’s will. It is that conforming process that facilitates inner transformation.
Romans 12:2 says that we are not to allow the world to conform us to their system. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” James 4:4 says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity against God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
In Jesus’ prayer He made His request to the Father for us. John 17:15 says, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” What does the evil one speak? John 8:44 described his modus operandi. It says, “…and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” On the other hand, God cannot lie.
John commended the young men in 1 John 2:14. It says, “…I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” It is God’s word IN us that will be the instrument He uses for our inner transformation. Romans 12:2 gives us the counter action to the world’s lures. It says, “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
God’s will is to conform us to His image, that we might bear His truth to others. Renewing our mind is an essential part of that conforming. Our mind is not transformed the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. We come into salvation with our former mindsets. Ephesians 2:2 says that we walked according to the course of the world. Verse 3 says that we were controlled by the evil one, “…we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…”
Understanding and applying 2 Corinthians 5:17 requires a new mindset. It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” When our thoughts return to a negative dialogue based in our past, it is an indicator that the lies we believed are still active. We have to kill them through renewing our mind.
Jeremiah 1:10 is our script. It says, “…to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the lies that you still believe that continue to affect every aspect of your life. He is Faithful. He is our Guide into truths that will set us free. I want you to picture this. In the middle of your uncultivated field there is a tree. You cut down the tree. Did that allow your plow to till the ground? No. Why? The stump and roots have to be removed first.
Picture the lie you have believed as the stump and roots. In my former backyard there were old oak trees. Even removing a rooted acorn took diligence. The tap root went way down. Lies have tap roots. There is no inner transformation without getting to the tap root-lie. If how you see yourself does not align with what the Lord says about you, then you are still bound in a lie. Your past is passed. Don’t let it hinder you from being all that He has called you to be.