Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Have you ever stopped to consider the amount of information being conveyed to you at any particular moment? And this isn’t just about social media, or the internet, or television. It’s about the underlying messages society tries to send us. Whether it’s regarding our looks, or values, or how we should define success, the influence of our thoughts is a top priority, because whoever influences the way we think, influences the actions we take. Our minds are valuable and should be safeguarded against the darkness that desires to control us.
Nevertheless, we don’t always recognize the darkness or how easily we can become ensnared in thoughts that pull us off track from our intended journeys. This is why the scriptures tell us in Romans 12:2:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It’s interesting to note that transformation is tied to renewing in its verb form, as opposed to the noun – renewal. Such terminology indicates to us that transformation is a continuous action, not just for a season. If we stop strengthening our minds and our resolve, then they eventually weaken and for some – you might even break. Unfortunately, our surroundings and influences can make it all too easy to choose old habits and hold onto unhealthy standards. So how do we stay on the path of renewal when society pulls us towards conformity?
We Must Believe in the Concept of Overcoming
When Christ died on the cross and rose again, He gave us the gift of restoration. By His sacrifice, we will be able to access an everlasting life, pure and perfect in design. Although originally given to Adam and Eve, their sin and Satan’s deception tainted this world, creating a place of brokenness, heartache, and pain in the midst of joy, beauty, and love. Christ’s return will begin the process of complete and final restoration, but until then, God has still given us the gift of transformation.
We don’t have to stay where we are or let life get the best of us. We can overcome the hardest of situations and the deepest of hurtful habits. Christ gives to us the same encouragement that He first gave His disciples when He said:
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
We can boldly face whatever comes our way, knowing that Christ holds the ultimate power to overcome. He has done it Himself, which gives us even more of a reason to step out on faith, even when it feels risky. We also have the privilege of being of good cheer, knowing that with God the impossible now becomes quite possible.
The Journey Towards Deliverance
When we place limitations on God, we place limitations on our lives. Have you ever considered what it would be like to live a life without those limitations? If your response is one rooted in fear, know that this fear is of the devil. He would much rather have us stand still in doubt than to know the freedom of walking towards what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Yet I know it can be scary to trust God with all of your heart when the outcomes seem so unsure.
There is comfort to be found in Psalm 34:4, when the scripture states: I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all of my fears. Take note that this scripture says – all of my fears, which encompasses not only the fear of how situations will turn out, but also the fear itself. Disappointment, loneliness, financial instability, and loss are just a few examples of fears that can drive us to make decisions without including Christ.
Nevertheless, if in those moments we allow God to remove these worries from our hearts, that fear no longer has power over us. We cast aside the limitations and embrace God’s path for us, knowing that deliverance from tribulations will come – whether in this lifetime or the next. We also take hold of the joys of this life, trusting that God wants good for us, and is preparing us to thrive within the peaks and the valleys.
Staying on the Path of Renewal
Yet if you’re looking for Biblical inspiration to put this concept into action, look no further than the story of Daniel in the lions den, found in Daniel 6. Created as a plot against Daniel, a rule was issued that for 30 days, the people of the land could only pray to the king, or they would be killed. The leaders who came up with this rule, knew enough about Daniel’s character to know that the probability of him continuing to pray to God was quite high, despite the punishment.
And praying is exactly what Daniel continued to do, three times a day. Daniel showed us what resolve looks like when you’ve already established a connection with God. His actions before and during this tribulation proved what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Daniel teaches us that when we first prioritize our relationship with God, we then develop a type of strength that is able to overcome any fear life throws our way. This however, doesn’t mean that we always like our situations, but we won’t run from the either. We face this life, knowing and trusting that we’re facing it with God in our corner.
A quick look at Job
Another example of spiritual steadfastness can be found in Job. When facing his demise, Job proclaimed in faith: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth (Job 19:25). Job trusted that the world as we know it, is not the end of our journey. And while Christ will not touch this earth when He returns, He will when it is restored. Nonetheless it is now, not in the future, that is the starting place for the renewing of our minds so that we can experience the gift of salvation and a hope in God that will never disappoint.
The Former Must Pass Away
Each day we are given the opportunity to delve deeper with God, allowing Him to open our eyes through the purification of our hearts. Unfortunately, woeful ignorance and misinformation fight against the word of God. We must be careful not to place our spiritual wellbeing into the hands of others. God will give us what we need to foster our own relationships with Him if we simply ask. We then have the choice to put into action what we’ve learned, building the fortitude needed to maintain our connection with Christ.
To truly grow, however, even when we falter along the way, requires us to accept that with renewal comes destruction. The former must pass away. Consider a seed that eventually becomes a plant with leaves and flowers. If it stays a seed forever, it will never see its full potential. We are those seeds, and God is calling us to transform. As we do, we’ll have to leave behind the old versions of ourselves so that we can walk in God’s light. Do not fear what or whom will be lost along the way, because there is so much more to be gained in that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
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