“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
When you crack open the shell of any nut, the nut inside will always be conformed to the shape of its shell. The pressure of the shell on the outside shapes the nut on the inside into its image. In Romans 12:2, believers are commanded not to allow the world to form us according to its pattern. Instead, we are to be transformed from the inside out.
The pressures that we face each day are immense. Temptation is everywhere. The world beckons us to live for ourselves instead of for the sake of Christ. It lures us towards sensuality, greed, idolatry and complacency. If we are not careful, our lives begin to look like everyone else’s. Suddenly, from the outside, Christians begin to take on the same form as non-Christians.
Transformation comes from the word metamorphosis. Have you ever seen a beautiful new butterfly (formerly a caterpillar), emerge from its cocoon? When it breaks out it looks nothing like the tiny cave it has been wrapped in for weeks. Why? Because it has been transformed, not conformed. The cocoon is merely a temporary dwelling place while the real change happens from the inside. As the caterpillar’s very makeup is changed, it takes on a different form. Bright colors and wings become visible. And all of a sudden, it is a butterfly.
Does a caterpillar decide to become a butterfly? Does it work to turn itself into one? Of course not. It merely allows God to do His work. This is a lesson for us today. Transformation is something that we cannot do ourselves. Amidst the pressures of this world, we must choose to be still and allow God to do His work in us. We must allow Him to renew our minds daily through His Word. God promises that when we do this, we will be able to know His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Are you conforming, or being transformed? Nut or butterfly? Rest in God’s presence today and allow Him to transform you from the inside out.
Father, There are so many pressures in this world. Sometimes the temptation to conform seems unbearable. But I know that it is Your will to transform me into the image of Jesus. Remind me to rely on Your strength today for whatever challenges I face. I praise You because You are enough. You are all I need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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