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."
As we prepare to meet together once again, I urge each and every Christian to not enter into worship the same as you were the last time we were together. This time of social isolation was hopefully not a time of spiritual isolation, but rather, we continued to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Since the Corona virus entered our country, I can tell you that my priorities have changed. It’s easy to get busy in the day to day with work and extracurriculars, so much so that your schedule is just jam-packed with “stuff.” But for me, this time has opened my eyes to the fact that life is short, and I only get to watch my daughter learn to crawl once. I only get to help my wife with the dishes so many times before that’s not an option anymore. I’ve had a paradigm shift; things that once were inconvenient are now opportunities to pour into my family.
But this has also affected me spiritually: I’ve been really convicted about my duty as a Christian. The last thing Jesus told all of us was to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). It’s easy for me to make an excuse and say, “Well, I work at a church, so all of my co-workers are saved and I just don’t have that much contact with unsaved people.” But as I examine my life, the fact is that just isn’t true. I go to restaurants and stores; I have neighbors and unsaved family. If I call myself a Christian, I need to get my life back on mission and begin talking to more people about Jesus.
I guess the biggest revelation to me during this time is a principle out of Romans 12 where Paul admonishes the readers to not be conformed to this world. What does that mean exactly? The world owns houses, so should I not? The world drives to work, should I not? I’m not sure that’s exactly what Paul is talking about. The next phrase in the verse helps us to understand a bit more: “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...” The word renewing there doesn’t mean like bringing a book back to the library to renew it, but rather it means a new development or a change in course. It means that rather than walk the way the world is walking, we change directions and walk in the opposite direction. We go against the grain and as we do, others notice and join us.
Here’s the practical application: I shouldn’t retaliate in anger when someone cuts me off in traffic because that’s how the world would do it. I shouldn’t get upset when I don’t get service that would be up to my standards at a restaurant or when someone takes up time I would have spent differently. I should go out of my way to show people the love of Christ. I should ask more people questions that would prod a spiritual conversation. This is where the last part of Romans 12:2 comes in: “...that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and renew our thought process, we find that we can more easily detect the will of God.
What has this time taught you? What spiritual growth has taken place in the last few months? Are you living on mission as a Christian?