Following the instructions this verse gives is kind of like being a butterfly going through metamorphosis:
1. Do not be conformed to this world.
(caterpillar eating leaves so it can get stronger and bigger;
Christian reading God’s Word so they can grow in knowledge of Him)
2. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
(caterpillar in cocoon turning into a butterfly;
God changing their heart so that they can begin to see things through His eyes)
3. Prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(butterfly free and flying around with the help of its new wings;
God giving them strength to face trials and pressures of the world)
I believe that this verse is very applicable to today’s culture. Worldly things get in the way of God a lot. “Oh, I’m too busy to read my Bible; I have to finish this video game.” “How do you expect me to pray now? I’m too exhausted from my busy day.” I’m sure we have all had times like that. Times when we seem too busy with the fast pace of this world to involve God in our lives. Times when it seems like we have everything under control, so why would we need God if we can do it ourselves? Truth is, we can’t do anything in our own strength, but we “can do everything through Christ who strengthens” us (Philippians 4:13).
“…do not be conformed to this world…”
“Conform: vi. 1. to be or become similar. 2. to be in agreement. 3. to act in accordance with accepted rules, customs, etc…” I think we can agree that the first and third definitions are the most relevant to the content of this verse. Romans 12:2 says to not be conformed to this world. To not become like the world. To not act with accepted customs. So even though there is pressure compelling us every day to go with the flow with everyone else around us, we need to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10).
Photograph Property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Tara Willinger.
“…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
“Transform: vt. 1. to change the form or appearance of. 2. to change the condition, nature, or function of.” The second definition is the meaning of transform in this passage. When Paul says, “be transformed”, he is not saying your outward appearance, as the first definition suggests, but a transformation “by the renewing of your mind”, from the inside out. When you change your mindset, you will change your heart; and once you change on the inside, the change won’t stand not to show through.
“…that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Once you change your mind and heart, your actions will begin to change. You will prove, or uphold, the perfect will of God. What could be more important in than being committed to following God?
In conclusion, if we get caught up in the whirlwind of life, and fail to keep our focus on God, we will get lost in the current of the secular culture. But, if we keep God in the center of our lives, and strive to follow His will, He will help us find our way in this frenzied manner of existence. So, let’s be caterpillars for the Lord!
Did you know that Heather's favorite color is teal blue?!?!