God does the work, but the work isn't all on him.
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. -ROMANS 12:2
I need transformation!
If you read last week’s devo, you know what I’m talking about. I shared about how I conform to the world, pretty much every single day. It’s a struggle. But, God isn’t gonna leave me there, or you! He’s got big plans for us, not just to welcome us into his family, but to transform us into kids who actually look like their Heavenly Father. You see, God doesn’t just forgive our sins and leave it at that. “See you when you get to heaven!” No, he’s actively involved in our daily lives, transforming us moment by moment as we rely on him. Jesus came to give us rich, abundant lives in the right now—lives that are beautiful, purposeful, and good. And our verse gives us great insight into that wonderful beautification process.
Transformation happens to us.
I want you to see something you may have missed. Did you notice that our verse says, “be transformed”? Weird right? It implies that there’s someone else who’s transforming us. It doesn’t say, “transform yourself”, but “be transformed.” This tells us that there’s a very real part of this transformation process that is done TO us. Do you see? But who’s doing the transforming? I bet you know. Yup. God himself, and more specifically the Holy Spirit. We see in scripture that the main work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to make us more and more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit works in us producing the fruit of godliness in our lives (Remember Gal. 5:22-23?). He’s our great Helper, and Counselor, Guide, and Teacher. He’s the Transformer, he’s the one doing this great work in us, making us into the people we were created to be.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
But we work too.
Now, here’s the truly amazing part: we cooperate with God’s Spirit as he transforms us! Now, don’t misunderstand me. I wholeheartedly affirm that there’s no work we could ever do to earn our salvation; God’s grace alone saves us (Eph. 2:9-10). But salvation isn’t what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about this ongoing transformative work that happens over the course of our entire lives. It’s a work that we take part in, just look at that phrase “be transformed” again. Don’t you see that it’s a command, something we obey? The Holy Spirit may be the one doing the transformation work in us, but we must yield to him as he does it. We must trust him and invite him to do that work in us.
But that’s not all. There’s more work for us to do.
We don’t only passively yield to the Spirit’s work in us, we also actively work with him in that process. Notice the command right from the beginning, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.” This requires our active participation. We must consciously choose to reject the patterns fo the world. Likewise, we are told to renew our minds. Again this is something we must do with intention. We weren’t meant to just laze around and claim that God’s doing a work over here while we just go our own way. No. We’re called, commanded even, to be active participants!
So, let’s talk about that work.
Last time we talked in great depth about not conforming to the pattern of the world. Go back and read on that for more. But here, I want to briefly discuss renewing our mind. There’s so much to say on this topic, entire books worth. And all of them assert renewing our minds is vital for keeping in step with the Spirit of God. We have got to know our God if we are ever going to love him. And if we don’t love him, then why would we want to yield to his work in our lives? Oh, we absolutely must be getting God’s Word into our hearts and minds. It’s the only place where we can truly know our God. And let me stop right here a hot second and say to you: bravo for learning this verse with us this month! Memorizing Scripture is actually putting God’s Word in your head long-term and letting it change you.
Let me say just a little more on the life of the mind.
The battle for your mind is critical. I know it too well. I know who I am when I’m renewing my mind and who I am when I’m not. When my mind is convinced of the deep love of God, I can fight against fickle feelings and looming fears. When I train my mind on truth, I can defeat the lies of the enemy. When my mind is set on Christ, I can overlook wrongs and work for reconciliation. Each day I work against my mind’s natural tendency to believe falsehoods and to dwell on the negative. That’s why we’re told that we need to renew our minds, because they’re ever and always in need of renewal.
So, let me just preach a second to you (and me)!
Train up your mind. Renew it each and every day. Portion out a time for this most important practice. Read God’s Word and remind yourself of the truth and love found there! This is real change, this is beautiful transformation! Make time each day for the Spirit to work in you as you actively participate with him, rejecting the world and renewing your mind.
How might a daily practice of renewing your mind work to bring about the transformation you desire in your life
How does knowing the Spirit of God is at work in you give you confidence?
How have you seen the Spirit work transformation in your life?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you to hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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