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.– Romans 12:2
Over the last two days, we have seen that the battle between our two natures is an intense struggle. The two natures wrestle with each other in different ways. The question is, who is winning? The natural man or spiritual man? How can we allow the spiritual man to arise victorious?
You’ve seen the “surefire,” “foolproof” weight loss plans out there – “30 Days to Transformation,” “5 Steps to Transform Your Body,” “What’s Stopping You From Your Transformation?” The list goes on and on. On the other hand, our passage in Romans is a SUREFIRE, FOOLPROOF plan to transforming the lives of Born-Again Believers from defeated lives lacking in power to victorious, spiritually mature lives.
Here’s the plan –
- Sacrifice yourselves to His cause
- Be not conformed to this world
- Renew your mind
RENEW YOUR MIND. Our mind is sin-cursed. We are subject to doubts, fears, and temptations. So many of us have spent so much of our lives filling our mind with things unpleasing to God, we have trained ourselves to not put up a fight when it comes to the battle for our mind. Generally our actions are the fruit of what comes out of our minds. Question: What comes out of our minds? Answer: What you put into it. How much Bible do we read? How much preaching do we listen to? How much time do we spend meditating throughout the days on spiritual things? Probably not as much time as we spend contaminating our minds with earthly things.
A farmer starts the day fresh and clean but comes home sodden with sweat, dirt, and debris. What must he do? Renew himself. If he doesn’t, he will face the agitation of an annoyed wife! A Born-Again Believer’s mind will accumulate the sweat of his own sinful desires, the dirt of the world in which he purposely wallowed in, and the debris of the world forcefully blown upon him. What must he do? Renew himself. If he doesn’t, he grieves the Holy Spirit and feeds the carnal man while starving the spiritual man. Many say with words only, “Oh, I desire to be more spiritual! Oh why is the carnal man stronger than the spiritual man inside of me!”
One preacher put it this way – you have two dogs. You feed the one and starve the other. Which dog is going to win in a fight? THE ONE YOU FEED. Too many Born-Again Believers STARVE the spiritual man by not reading the Bible, not praying, and not focusing their minds on spiritual things. Instead they fill their minds with the garbage of this world, feed the carnal man. When temptation comes their way, who is going to win? Why are they surprised when they fail in resisting temptation when they’ve been feeding the carnal man for years?!
I’m afraid many Born-Again Believers neglect holy, spiritual hygiene. We go out into the world to satisfy our temptations and carnal desires. We do not put forth much effort in resisting what the world throws onto us. We go to bed without taking a spiritual bath only to get up the next morning to start it all over again. Some of us have days of baked-on, caked-on, worldly dirt completely contaminating our minds. Some of us have years of it!
Are you one that cares more for this carnal flesh than the temple of your mind? How refreshing it is after a long, hard day of work to take a bath and go to bed clean. Much more refreshing it is to go to bed knowing your mind has been renewed. Take some time out to evaluate the state of your mind. Does your mind crave earthly or spiritual desires? What things have you spent the majority of your time thinking about today?
Get alone with God. What precedes this passage is a declaration of how high and holy his ways, knowledge, and wisdom are along with the duty we have to completely dedicate our lives to Him. If you have been born-again, you serve a holy, loving God. You have a responsibility to dedicate your mind to Him. “Lord, take control of my mind. I want yours. I sacrifice my every thought and desire to your cause.”
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on thee:
Because he trusteth in thee.”
– Isaiah 26:3