“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ?—Romans 12:2
Many people believe worldliness has to do with having possessions that speak of success, status and accomplishment. Others think it is to be knowledgeable and sophisticated in the ways of this world. In the New Testament, worldliness is defined not as something external, but as something inside us. John describes worldliness as “...the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life...” (1 John 2:16).
What we need to beware of is not falling into the trap of thinking the world is out there. The real influences of the world are already inside us, originating in our minds and our hearts. Our minds are crucial in the process of living the life we are called to live. As Christians, we have been made regenerate by a miracle of God in our hearts and made holy by a process that includes our minds.
The world is full of temptation, which is why living in a spirit of repentance is crucial. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia, which means to change the mind: meta to change and nous the mind. We change our minds about God, about sin, about our role in life, the way we live, and we turn from dependence upon ourselves to dependence on God. In this adjusting of our minds to the mind of God, we become regenerate; born again and made new by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. With the renewing of our minds, we start to think about the world the way God thinks about the world.
There is, however, something far deeper than the activity of our minds, and that is the attitude of our hearts. The mind is our place of understanding, but the heart involves our disposition toward life, people and God. In the Bible, the heart combines the mental and the moral. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says that “the heart” is used figuratively for the deep, hidden springs of the personal life. What we know in our minds is filtered through the disposition of our hearts.
The heart is the throne room of our lives, and when indwelt by the Spirit of God, the kind of living that flows out will be a work in progress that expresses the righteousness and holiness of God. Instead of a mad fight to get what we want, we become content with what we have, and the pull of this world fades in the light of consciously living every new day with Jesus. What we will discover is that He blesses us, and keeps on blessing us in a way the world never can.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for this new life I have, born again of your Spirit. I pray for a deep work of your Spirit in which my life increasingly reflects your holiness. Thank You, Jesus.