“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NIV).
If you want to have lasting change in your life, you need to refocus your mind.
Specifically, you need to change your thought patterns away from what you don’t want to focus on and toward what you do want to focus on. Because whatever you focus on is what you move toward.
Today’s verse gives us the blueprint to change our thought patterns:
· “Do not conform.” How often do we let other people shape our lives? God doesn’t want you to be like someone else; he wants you to be the person he made you to be. So don’t copy, don’t conform, don’t try to be like anybody else.
· “The pattern of this world.” Pattern means the model of everything you’ve learned in life. If you want to change, you have to change your pattern or model of living that you learned in your life. You need to replace the old, unhealthy pattern with a new one modeled after the life of Christ.
· “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Transformed is the same as the word we use for metamorphosis, the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. In the same way, God wants to transform you into a completely new person by renewing your mind.
How does this happen? The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:22-24 “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (NIV).
This means you are going to have to do some putting off and you are going to have to do some putting on — and the putting off has to happen before the putting on. It’s just like trying on clothes in a department store. Before you can try on the new stuff, you have to take off the old stuff.
You’re going to have to let go of the old attitudes, the old thought patterns, the old images that you’ve been living with so you can put on the new garments God has for you.
TRUST ME , and don’t be afraid. I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust-muscles. You live in the midst of fierce spiritual battles, and fear is one of Satan’s favorite weapons. When you start to feel afraid, affirm your trust in Me. Speak out loud, if circumstances permit. Resist the devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Refresh yourself in My holy Presence. Speak or sing praises to Me, and My Face will shine radiantly upon you. Remember that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Me. You have been judged NOT GUILTY for all eternity. Trust Me, and don’t be afraid; for I am your Strength, Song, and Salvation.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
JAMES 4 : 7
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit
of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
ROMANS 8 : 1 – 2
“Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.”
ISAIAH 12 : 2
Connect by Using Constructive Words
Did you know that the words that come out of our mouths are like a tool? Sometimes they’re like a sledgehammer. We swing away without thinking and end up with a pile of relational rubble. Sometimes they’re like a saw, cutting people down. If we keep using these tools, inevitably our relationships are going to suffer.
One reason we aren’t constructive with our words is we don’t realize how powerful they are; yet, I bet you can still remember things people said to you in a thoughtless way as far back as grade school or college. That’s how powerful words are. They leave a lasting impact. So when it comes to your mouth, think of it as a power tool and be very careful with it.
Here’s how to build instead of destroying with your words —
Stop excusing — Stop saying, “I didn’t really mean to say that.” Realize that what you say impacts everyone around you.
Talk less — If it’s a power tool, you don’t have to use it as much. One of the reasons we get in trouble is we just talk too much sometimes.
Listen more — If I listen more, I can understand people’s needs.
Start building — Think first of all, “What do they need?” How can I use a word of encouragement to build them up? How can I use a word of challenge to make a difference in someone’s life? How can I use my words to build up the people I love the most?