As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and watch 2015 come to a close, instead of us making a New Year's resolution, let's consider doing some self-examination by reflecting on why we want or need to make changes in our life. While we pounder that thought, I would like to offer a few words of wisdom found in the Book of Romans, chapter 12 verses 1-12. The first two verses of this chapter, Paul’s message to the Romans is about the need to sacrifice one's flesh in order not to conform to this world- He goes on to say that after you present your body as a living sacrifice, we must transform by the renewing of your mind. When your mind is renewed you are then able to give God your a sincere worship. I believe Paul's message, in this case, was a call to action, an action to transform how we think. If we do that then everything else will follow, such as healing, deliverance, change in our attitudes and action.
Paul is saying in these particular passages of scripture that we must go through a process in order to experience transformation that comes through the dying to one's fleshly needs and desires as a means to get in and stay in God’s presence. Much of what we think, we become. How true is God’s word when He says, As a Man Thinks, So Is He. For example, it is said many times over that laughter is good for the soul; however, negative thoughts can poison the mind, body, and soul when tied to:
Renewing your mind initiates the healing process that goes beyond the physical realm. God is not just in the business of healing our bodies but he also wants to heal our minds, our hearts, and our emotions. Having your emotions or heart transformed is truly a miracle to behold. We constantly hear those testimonies about how God healed someone from diabetes, or high blood pressure, blindness, or even cancer’ but we rarely hear about someone testifying about how God healed their heart and mind. I believe it is very important that we consider investing some of our energy and time into transforming our thoughts, habits and perceptions, while resisting the temptation of becoming perfect humans. No one person is perfect, that is way I am advocate for women to understand how to love themselves "as is" or just better.
So now that we have presented our bodies as living sacrifice, renewed our minds, giving the Lord our true worship, we must then clothe ourselves with humility, which Paul discusses in verses 3 – 8. With renewed minds God is saying we must remain humble and to operate in our gifts. This is still part of the transitioning to transform process.
In these first 8 verses, Paul has given precise instructions to the Romans regarding how not to allow their flesh control our thoughts that can and will impede your true worship to the Lord. He gave these instructions so that they and we could experience God’s ultimate plan and that is to Love in spite of your circumstance. To Love in spite of the attacks of your enemy. In fact, the final two verses of this passage about God’s will is for us to show kindness to our enemies. This is when you know you have transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Transformation will allow you to realize the 2nd half of versus 2, which says “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Once you have transformed, you can love your enemies because you are now able to do Philippians 4:8 that talks about thinking on those things that are true, loving, pure, and of good report.
How much effort does it require to love someone you like, or someone who is kind to you? It takes sacrificing self, a transformed mind, sincere worship life and humility to love your enemy. This is what makes us Christians, doing what seems to be the impossible, unconventional, or odd. The scriptures also says we can do ALL things through Christ Jesus. God also says ALL Things work together for the good those who Love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Therefore, when you have transformed you will experience God’s peace that surpasses your understanding. When you have transformed you will know that you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus who loves you and that God has not given you the spirit of fear but of Love, Power, and Sound Mind. Meaning, God said if you keep your mind on me, I shall keep you in perfect peace.
Transitioning to transform starts with a sacrifice but ends with Love (unconditional Love). Love unlocks the door of your mind and heart. Once you are transformed you will experience this unconditional love that God has for each of us. Unconditional love can start with you loving you.
Are you trapped by your thoughts that hinder you from being what God has designed you to be? Aretha Franklin sung a song in the 1968 that was called “Think” and at the bridge of the song you hear her say ‘FREEDOM”. God wants us to experience the freedom to live our life based on what we do not see, but how we think and see it. Transformation changes your perspective about everything!
Transitioning to transform is God’s way of healing us and presenting us with the choice to live a life victoriously everyday. The good news is, He has given us the Balm in Gilead who is Jesus. He loved us so that he sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. I interpret this scripture as having an extraordinary freedom to love my brothers and sisters unconditionally and without boundaries. Don’t allow the troubles of this world this Christmas season hinder you from experiencing God’s Love year round through transformative living.