If we want to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, we have a part to play. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So, it is the word of God that gives us faith and only by hearing it through reading, studying and through his messengers, will we have the faith we need to be transformed.
Transformation requires changing some things in our life. It means replacing things that our “old man” did with things that fit our new identity in Christ. If we truly want to be new creatures, we have to let go of the old. Our eating habits might need to change by exchanging fattening foods for more fresh vegetables and fruits or replacing soda with fresh water because your body is not yours anymore, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is where God lives and his habitat should be holy. Exercise is also a big part of temple maintenance. We may need to incorporate exercise into our lifestyle or change our exercise habits to conform to the image of Christ. This may mean giving up yoga because you love God more than your own will. Just because our western culture accepts an exercise that honors eastern gods, thoughts and traditions doesn’t mean that a child of God should follow blindly. There are plenty of exercises that you can do that don’t require worshiping false gods with your body. Try exercising to the word of God. Idolatry is something that God hates. As you are transformed, you will hate what he hates and love what he loves, but you will never know what he truly desires if you don’t read the Bible. You will go through life thinking God should conform to your ideas and getting mad at him whenever he doesn’t do what you think he should do. You will say things like “I don’t believe God would do that…..” or “I don’t believe God wants that…..,” but you will not really know what he wants until you read the Bible and get to know him for yourself. His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. He is holier than we could ever be. That is the reason we need Christ. He was created to bridge the gap between us and God and no man will see the Father unless they go through His son, Jesus Christ. There is no shortcut and no other path. Read the book of John – the disciple that Jesus loved.
If you have tried everything else, why not try Christ? If you need the impossible accomplished in your life, reach for something beyond your comprehension. That’s what faith is. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. The phrase “take a leap of faith” requires trust. Not blind trust, but trust in God with all your heart by not leaning on your own understanding. Trust God and come clean. He knows you better than you know yourself anyway. He created you and knows where you came from and where your heading. Humble yourself and admit that you are a sinner. If you have ever lied, cheated, stole, falsely accused someone, slept with someone other than a spouse, had an abortion, etc. you are a sinner, but God wants to forgive you. All he asks is that you come clean. He has already provided a sacrifice for you through his son, Jesus Christ. Come through him and you come clean. Through faith in Jesus and what he did for you when he died on the cross, you can boldly approach the throne of grace and receive forgiveness for anything that you have done – even murder. You may think that you are too far gone or too bad to be redeemed, but that is not true. If you read the Bible, you will see that God used Moses who committed murder, Jacob who lied to his dying father and Noah who got drunk and fell out naked. He called them righteous men because of their faith in him, not because they were perfect men. Read Hebrews 11 for examples of faith.
Now, I’ve gotten a little off track. I wasn’t trying to go there, but I guess I needed to in order to share what I wanted to share with you today. In truth, what I am about to share with you comes after your acknowledgement of your sin. Of course, there’s church, but I have met so many Christians that have been hurt by church that the mere suggestion brings up all kinds of painful memories. Mainly, because the people in the church are not perfect and they are all at different stages of transformation. So, I recommend starting off with Bible Study and Prayer especially if you have “church hurt.” In Bible Study, you will learn about God. His Word will be explained to you so that you understand it better. You should join a group where they study from both the Old and New Testament and allow you to ask questions. Also, the people that attend Bible study tend to be faithful. They have a hunger for God’s word so there’s less distraction. Everyone is more attentive and are there because they want to know God better. It’s usually in the middle of the week so extra effort is required to get there. The faithful will press their way to Bible Study or Prayer on Friday night or Saturday morning. Prayer is also a good place to avoid a lot of distraction. Prayer Warriors as they are called gather for one purpose – to pray for God’s people. The main thing to remember is that your relationship with God is personal. It doesn’t matter what other people do. The Bible says that if you love your enemies and are nice to them in spite of their behavior, you will heap burning coals upon their head and the Lord will reward you. If all Christians focused on perfecting the inner man “their own issues” we would see a transformed church, but again I digress. Just don’t let other people prevent you from getting to God. Let getting to Him be your focus, your target, your goal, your destination and let no man stand in your way. Just make sure your motives are pure. Always check your own motives.
Okay, now about transformation. If faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, then we must hear the word of God to have more faith, and through more faith we are transformed. Therefore, your eating and exercise habits are not the only things that need to be transformed. In order for your mind to be renewed, it must be filled with new information – the Word of God. That doesn’t mean you have to read the Bible all the time, but it does mean changing the channel from TV shows that are contrary to the word of God, listening to music with lyrics from the lips of God, hanging out with people that love God.
Try trueGOD.tv You will find Christian news, comedy, preaching, music, theater, movies…….a wide variety of entertainment for a mind that desires to be transformed. Bookmark it. Select a channel and let it play. Let the Word of God penetrate your mind so that your helmet of Salvation is sealed tightly upon your head. Before you know it, you will be wearing the full armor of God and able to slay giants like David; move mountains with a word; lay hands on the sick and see them be healed……..these are all promises for those that believe on Christ.
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 KJV