Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
How do we know if we are succeeding in being a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice to God? Paul said the test of our sanctification is the transformation of our lives. He said in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The word “conform” means “to pattern after” or “to mold after.” I love the way J. B. Phillips paraphrases it. He says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” That is what Paul was talking about. Don’t allow living in this world to mold you into this world’s value system.
Instead, Paul said, be transformed. That word “transformed” is the Greek word “metamorphosis.” It means “to be changed.” Be changed how? How can we keep from being squeezed into the world’s mold? By the renewing of our minds. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As [a person] thinks within himself, so he is.” We are living in a world that is so saturated with false thinking that we have to deprogram our minds and reprogram them with God’s values. And the way we do that is through Scripture. That is why it is imperative that you and I have a regular time that we are in God’s Word learning what He says is truth. It is imperative that we gather together every week at church to hear the Word of God taught. That is completely antithetical to the world’s value systems. This world’s systems are totally opposite of God’s.
Dr. Haddon Robinson, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, told of one Saturday that he spent working on his garage door opener. To do the repair he needed to unscrew a screw, so he took a screwdriver and started turning counterclockwise. But the more he turned, the tighter the screw became. He could not figure out what was going on until a neighbor came by and saw what was happening. He said, “Haddon, that is a reverse-threaded screw. It works just the opposite of normal screws.” Haddon said, “I spent 50 years learning how a screw works, and now somebody changes the rules!” In many ways, the Bible is like a reverse-threaded screw. It goes completely opposite to our natural, worldly inclinations. The Bible says, Do you want to be wealthy? The way to acquire true wealth, spiritual wealth, is to acknowledge your spiritual poverty. Do you want to be great? The way to rule is to serve other people. Do you want to really live? The way to live is to die to yourself.
How do you know if you are sanctified–set apart for God’s use? The test is that you have rejected the world’s value systems and are living by God’s value systems.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What To Do When You Feel The Squeeze” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.