Transformed in Our Minds/Conformed into His Image
… be transformed by the renewing of your mind … (Romans 12:2)
… be conformed to the image of His Son … (Romans 8:29)
Recently a dear friend who has suffered through much grief in recent years, sent me a text while I was vacationing with friends. She had been to a women’s retreat and heard so powerfully from God that she couldn’t wait to share it with me. So, I called her and listened as my eyes filled with tears of overwhelming joy. God spoke. Some might say that God reached down from Heaven and gave this daughter of His a word, but I prefer to view this through the lens of Scripture which tells me that Christ is in me! The hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27), therefore, Christ who is in her spoke to her Spirit where He dwells and she listened and she heard and it was a word from Him designed for her. It was a word designed to bring her a new revelation of an old truth. It was a word designed to transform her mind (Romans 12:2) and to conform her into His image (Romans 8:29). It was a word designed to confirm in her things which He has been training into her over this past three years of sorrow.
And she heard it and it began immediately to work its way into her conscious and unconscious thought, performing the work that the living, active, energizing Word of God claims to do: piercing between joints and marrow and soul and spirit discerning the thoughts and intents of her heart (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV).
Some people become uneasy when we speak about hearing a word from God, as though He no longer speaks to us—He only spoke to certain people in old times and now He is silent. But He does speak, and His word leaps off of a page of Scripture and comes alive in our spirit just as surely as if He Himself were standing in front of us. Jesus Christ is the “Word of God;” Jesus Christ is “living and active and sharper than a two edged-sword…” Jesus Christ is able to “judge the thoughts and motives of our hearts.” Oh yes, He speaks.
And when He speaks, and when we do more than just hear—when we are shaken to our core by something He revealed, and write it down and meditate on it, and invite Him to knead it into our inner self, then we are changed–we are transformed and conformed.
After my friend shared with me the precious jewel that He shared with her in that retreat, I prayed for her. How many times have I heard something profound—something that I knew was meant to change something in me—and then forgotten it once I returned to the chaos and everydayness of life and I regret that I didn’t write it down, or meditate on it, asking Jesus to make it alive in my conscious and unconscious heart so that I would be made new in that area. So I prayed for her and I searched for a description of what I was asking Him to do with that living word He had spoken to her. The descriptive word I decided on was “brand.” I asked Jesus to brand this word onto the walls of her heart, so that it leaves a permanent imprint, so that she will return to it again and again until it has integrated itself into the very fabric of her thinking and behaving.
This is the process of having our mind transformed and being “conformed into the image of Christ” (Romans 8:29). Only Jesus can conform us into His image, but we also must desire and be willing to have our minds transformed which in turn transforms our old behaviors and thought processes. Hearing a good sermon, or reading a good book, or being freshly awakened by a scripture verse can transform our mind and conform us into His image only when we ask Him to brand it onto our hearts and displace the old thinking with the new. He will do it, I know that from experience, but we must consent to how He chooses to do it. This transforming/conforming process takes a while, sometimes a long while–really an entire lifetime, but the reward is far greater than we can imagine. The reward becomes clear for example, when we find ourselves facing a situation that used to send us into panic or fear and we realize that it no longer has that power over us, and we know that that old part of us that was once paralyzed by fear has been “transformed” because we have invited His word into us, and it has also “conformed” us into His image—”Christ in me” is never afraid.
The choice we make is to hear, and believe, and allow a verse such as “God has not given us a spirit of fear…” to penetrate into the deep recesses of our belief system, returning to it again and again each time the fear surfaces, until we realize that we no longer fear, but best of all, we are experiencing the rest of that verse—the “love and power and sound mind” part of it.
I love this transforming process now. I used to beg God to save me from the things that were hard in life; I only wanted Him to rescue me. Now I thank Him for what He is about to transform in me through that situation and how He is going to conform me into His image. Amen, what a change in attitude that has been. I don’t say that I walk through all of life events unscathed or in perfect harmony and peace, but I know how to get out of the panic and fear and into His peace a lot quicker than I used to.
So, may He not only give us a new revelation of His truth this week, but may He brand that truth into our conscious, unconscious and subconscious mind and use it to transform our thinking and conform us into His image.