“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” —Romans 12:2 (NIV)
What does this verse mean for us today? How do we “renew” our minds? Why?
Romans 12:2 is a directive from our Father—God, the Creator of all things. He’s not making a suggestion or request in this verse; it’s a command. But as with everything our gracious God directs, He’s given us the GIFT of free will, a personal CHOICE to trust Him and obey Him or not. The first man and woman chose not to trust and obey the Creator, and the consequence was separation of all mankind from God.
God doesn’t say or even suggest in this verse that He will renew our minds for us. He tells US to do the work in partnership with His enabling Holy Spirit within us, empowering us. As a parent, would you do everything for children or direct them and help them to do what needs to be done to ensure they become capable, strong, assured, mature, empowered adults—all that they were created and purposed to be?
Aside from obeying for the sake of obeying, the resulting purposes of daily, hourly, renewing our minds to think as God thinks, to act as Jesus exampled and taught, to trust and obey, are so we will:
- become ALL that God created us to be as His children (transformed to be like Christ);
draw others to Christ for the sake of their freedom from sin, evil, death (spiritual), hopeless, and eternal separation from Him;
be equipped by God’s Holy spirit to teach others to become ALL that He created them to be . . . ,
And thus the circle of NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus is continually perpetuated.
Are You Ready to Take the R12:2 Challenge? How Do We Become Transformed?
“By the renewing of your mind.” Renewing my mind is to make a conscious choice—daily, hourly, moment-by-moment—to adopt a practiced lifestyle that reflects Jesus Christ and God the Father:
- to practice thinking as God thinks (according to His Word);
- to practice making choices/decisions based on the proven principles and powerful promises of God’s Word; and
- to practice taking action as Jesus would, mirroring God the Father.
To “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is not limited to certain circumstances, times, and people. Renewing our minds is for ALL circumstances, at ALL times, with ALL people, even with ourselves—how we think about ourselves and make decisions and actions based on those thoughts. Wow! Consider the ramification of TRANSFORMATION in Christ Jesus!
The result of obeying God in all things would be to impact not only ourselves in every circumstance but also everyone who crosses our paths, starting at home: our spouses, children, in-laws and other extended family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, the clerks at the store counters and other strangers.
The result of obedience is NEW LIFE IN CHRIST: transformation from the old self to new self because, as His beloved child, you desire to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:27).
- “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
- “Although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach . . . ” (Colossians 1:21-22).
- “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit . . . ” (Titus 3:5).
Like anything worthy of our pursuit, taking the R12:2 Challenge will require sacrifice. At times the sacrifice will be our time, pride, opinions, material possessions . . . . But according to I Samuel 15:22, “to obey is better than sacrifice,” and certainly not without earthly and eternal rewards.¹
Jesus asked Simon Peter:
“‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.'”
DO YOU LOVE THE LORD? ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE THE R12:2 CHALLENGE?
Begin today; right now. Take the R12:2 Challenge. Practice renewing your mind according to God’s principles, with your every thought, every decision, every action, in every circumstance, with every person, in every moment, and watch your TRANSFORMATION into NEW LIFE—abundant life in Christ. Change is choice and it doesn’t happen over night; it happens with purposed diligence.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . . . ” (Hebrews 12:1).
Welcome to the R12:2 team!
For a more in-depth study on renewing your mind, take the journey through our four-part series, “As You Think In Your Heart.”