The life I live today is very different than the life I lived when I was younger. While I often focus on how far I have to go, occasionally God reminds me just how far I’ve come. There are many people in my life who know “the old me”, the BC ‘before Christ’ me. They are a witness to the transforming power of God in my life.
One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was while sharing my story with someone who only knew the ‘after Christ’ me. After hearing some of the details of my past, she said, “I just can’t see you doing that.”
God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we become a NEW creation in Christ. Many times I struggle with the dead man of my past as I fight through the process of transformation. Some people are blessed with instantaneous deliverance. Most, I believe become a new creation through the renewing of the mind.
What does that mean? Paul,tells us in Romans 12:2, “don’t conform to the patterns of this world.” Patterns represent the values and customs of society. We cannot rely on culture to determine our standard of living. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on religion either. Even within the Christian faith there are many denominations. Sometimes your acceptance there is dependent on conforming to ‘their’ particular belief system or doctrine.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not advocating abandoning the church. The church is not a denomination. It is a body, made up of those who follow Christ. As a body, we cannot function alone, we need each other. Our goal should be to be transformed into the image of Christ. He alone is our example. His Word sets the standard. We renew our mind by digging into God’s Word for ourselves and allowing His Word to transform us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us:
For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Pray: Father, thank You for transforming me through the power of Your Word. Thank You for renewing my mind and molding me into the image of Your son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior. When I am confused by the values and customs of the world around me, remind me that Your Word is my standard.