Today’s bible study is Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
This verse is one that is undoubtedly familiar to many, although somewhat difficult to put into practice in our day-to-day lives. While we are instructed not to conform to the patterns of this world, we live in a society where that is very much the rule. We live by a series of laws and regulations, even in elementary school. We are taught to obey the laws of the state in which we live. We learn that we must, indeed, conform to the patterns of this world. We must say the right things, dress appropriately, and conduct ourselves in ways that are acceptable to society in general.
But can we take this a bit farther and be transformed by the renewing of our minds while adhering to the rules and regulations of statute law, societal norms, and family and governmental restrictions? Yes, we certain can. As Christians, we can transform our minds without breaking a single rule. We can turn our thoughts to God and to His son Jesus Christ, and we can pray in the stillness of our thoughts whenever we choose, without getting a speeding ticket or being chastised by anyone else.
This is the true understanding of our faith. That we can be Christ-oriented and live with our minds focused on God and on following the ways of our Lord and Savior without breaking any rules of this world. Whether there is a higher authority than our judicial system has been a bone of contention for many years, and will surely not be resolved here and now. Suffice it to say that we, as Christian believers, can most certainly turn out thoughts and minds and hearts to God while living within the constraints that society has placed on us.
If we renew our minds with the refreshing purity of the will of God, we will be able to test and approve God’s will, knowing that in all things, God’s will and not ours is to be done. It can be done through us, with us, for us, or even in spite of us, but it will be God’s will. If we allow the presence of God to be a real part of our thinking and action, His holy will shall be as natural for us as it was for Jesus. We will know, without being told, the right choices to make, the right paths to walk down, and the right ways to treat one another.
God’s will is perfect. Ours may, from time to time, be good and pleasing, and that of the legal system may be sound a just. But the will of God is the only perfection that exists. Let us always remember that perfection and know that nothing we ever do will come close to changing it. The will of God is for all people, for all time, and for all circumstances. May we follow this higher will, this perfection, and allow God to dwell in our hearts and minds every moment of our lives as we go about the daily chores and relationships we are accustomed to. And, in doing so, may they take on a new clarity, beauty and goodness as the light of the Holy Spirit radiated from within each of us.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur, Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor
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