As you know, the tagline Scripture for this blog site is 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 (NKJV).” This verse tells us the reason for the renewing of our minds but my question is what does transformation look like. In other words, how will we know that transformation is taking place?
I’m constantly asking questions as I read God’s Word because I believe that to become all that God requires I must understand what He requires and be able to assess my progress towards what He requires. The Word also tells us in 1 Cor. 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” So I am the first to admit there is much that is written in the Bible that I don’t understand. Some of it I am neither ready nor interested to understand at this stage. There is a season and a time for everything. So as I read the Word, certain passages resonate with me (I’m sure that happens to you too) and I stop and ask the Holy Spirit to give me a deeper revelation, a deeper perspective, of the Word so I can apply it in a practical way to my own life and equip others to do the same. There are also some things that drop in my spirit at the weirdest of times – in the shower, while driving, on the not so royal throne – and I have to ask the Holy Spirit to not make me forget so I can write these thoughts down. I also get these insights at not so weird times – at church, during quiet times, while praying in the Spirit. I know I appear to be digressing from the topic at hand but I feel led to share this so I guess it is of importance to someone who will be reading.
Back to the question at hand, “What does transformation look like?” In other words, what is God really after? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, after giving God the honour due to Him, the next thing Jesus tells them to pray is “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). If you read Perspective Pt 1, you would know that the kingdom of God is within each believer. It is neither eating nor drinking but “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Anyone who knows me knows that I am very methodical. So I believe in first things first. I therefore conclude that since the kingdom was the first thing Jesus wanted the disciples to pray about and since the first dimension of the kingdom mentioned in Rom. 14:17 is righteousness, this raises it to a place of prominence in God’s scheme of things. Add to this testimony 3, which I shared in Laying The Foundation (posted April 8th 2017), and you should know the answer by now.
What is God really after? Righteousness, which is synonymous with holiness. He desires with all of His heart for the people who are called by His name to “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). He commands, “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7). To consecrate means to set yourself apart. Apart from what? From all that is not holy. This is a fundamental element that is missing in the lives of many believers and is causing the Body of Christ to lack the power and influence it should have to bring about national transformation. You cannot transform something unless you are first transformed. We are in a very critical season and I sense an urgency in the spirit, of God’s call to His church to manifest holiness. To each and every believer to do some serious introspection and to determine those aspects of your life that need to be changed; that part of your lifestyle that is not pleasing to God that MUST be changed so that you can be set apart for the Father’s use. I have always focused on Rom. 12:2 without putting it in the context of Rom. 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” God is not simply asking, He is beseeching us to become holy and acceptable to Him. And this is considered to be a reasonable thing for us to do considering the mercies of God that have been bestowed upon us.
We must take what God is saying to us seriously. We must take God serious. After all, He has exalted His Word even above His name (Ps. 138:2b). We must treat God with the reverence and awe that is due to Him. Yes, God is gracious and merciful but let us also remember that God is a “consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28-29). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Do you realize this is the verse that follows the popular verse, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” We have always taken this verse to mean that we must not seek to take revenge on those who have wronged us but leave it to God to avenge the wrong on our behalf. This is true. But because we have taken this verse out of context, we have missed a very important aspect of the target of God’s vengeance. The second part of that verse says, “………..And again, The Lord will judge His people.” In essence then, the Lord is saying that He will judge His people and will repay for bringing His name into disrepute. For not representing His image to the world. Not standing up for truth in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation. Not setting ourselves apart from the world’s culture. “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
What are the things in your life that you need to change in response to God’s plea? Ask Him to show you those things that need to change. I have and He certainly didn’t hold back :). You are waiting on God but God is waiting on you. God loves us and He wants the best for us. We are on a mission to save a dying world but we have lost sight of this fact. Our salt has lost its flavour (Matt. 5:13). Instead, we are on a mission to be blessed while all the time missing the fact that to be blessed we must be righteous. Let us hear the heart of God today and become that people God desires us to become.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Pet. 2:9, NKJV)