True story: Romans 12:2 was my life verse even before I came to know Jesus. Here’s the King James version I first read it in more than thirty years ago: “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.” There’s so much packed into that verse, and space doesn’t allow us to fully unpack it here. Maybe my own pre-Christian experience with it will help illustrate, though.
When I first read this passage as an I-believe-in-God-but-I’ll-be-anything-but-a-Christian, I immediately sat down and wrote an essay on the power of saying “no.” There was truth to that response—but it wasn’t the whole truth. I had locked squarely into “And be not conformed to this world,” and was on board with “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” but “that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”? Who cared? I didn’t. Not yet. However, without it the little truth I genuinely knew was as good as a lie.
Our lives are no longer our own. The key to a renewed mind is the willingness to lay down our thoughts in order to learn God’s. As we let go of what’s “ours” and take hold of what we know to be God’s, our minds begin to be purified. The Spirit begins to untangle truth from untruth, the wheat from the weeds. God’s will becomes less of a mystery, even as God himself remains an ever-deepening mystery. Even when we can’t immediately see or understand where God is leading us, he honors the spirit of submission he’s given us—and our resolve to stay in submission—and leads us there anyway.
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding….
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul (Proverbs 2:3–6, 9–10).
To know yourself better only makes you more like you. To know Jesus more is to become more like Jesus. That’s what God has desired for us since the day of creation. So lay down your head, and be transformed.
Lay It Down Today
What’s your “life passage”—or at least a passage from God’s Word that’s spoken to you recently? Take fifteen minutes now, and let it speak to you some more. Sit quietly before the Lord and simply meditate on your passage, then close your time in prayer. Here are a few guiding questions to help you process:
- Why is God bringing this passage to my mind? Why now?
- What’s the one thing that most needs transforming in my life—that God wants me to lay down right now?
- How can I invite God deeper into that part of my life and let him work?