Radical Renewal

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2

That’s what I’m stuck on right now. As believers in Jesus Christ, we must stop allowing ourselves to be molded by the influences and pressures of this world.  The more I work with teenagers (and even adults), the more I see people trying to become “radical” in a negative way.

Jesus declared that we should refuse to become radical by the worlds standards and become radical by His standards.  It is through that radical faith that we allow ourselves to let God completely change our inward thinking and outward behavior.  It’s a process of transformation.  It is a “renewing” of the mind.  But how to I transform?  How do I “renew” my mind?

Some possible suggestions.

  • Constantly refocusing on what God wants:  Instead of seeking to satisfy your own desires, we must think of how the Lord would be pleased with the outcome of every situation we face.  That takes a refocus on your actions, a discipline if you will.  Sure this concept may sound simple, but in reality it is a major problem with people.  People are aiming to please themselves in their everyday expression, something foreign to God.  To become radical by Christ’s standards and renew our minds means that I must seek to please him in all situations, not myself and my own desires.
  • Celebrating victories over sin (both individually and together):  To many people I know refuse to celebrate over a victory over sin.  As a matter of fact, they choose to do the opposite and remained almost depressed that God gave them that victory.  We need to celebrate the smaller “battles” over sin so we can one day win the “war” with our bigger sin issues.  Radical followers of Christ will celebrate when Jesus has won or helped them overcome against sin.  When we celebrate our victories over sin, it renews how we think about God.  It allows us to see Him in an awesome way, as someone who fights with us.  Celebration over sin looks different to the world but it is pleasing to the Lord (after all, who are you here to please, the world or the Lord?).
  • Letting the spirit work (don’t fight it):  Letting the Spirit work is the key to renewing your mind.  That means that we shouldn’t fight what God is telling us internally.  When we listen to God internally we start to experience a change externally.  Listen to the Lord.

What do you think?  How else can you “renew” your mind in God’s eyes?

-jordan

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