“Do not conform 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, NIV)

We cannot discern God’s will with an earth-bound mind.

An earth-bound mind conforms to the will and the ways of our world.  An earth-bound minds cares more about what pleases others than what pleases God.  It is a mind that is squeezed and pressured from all of the forces outside of us; what we hear and see.

A transformed mind is also informed by other sources, but instead of coming from the outside in; it comes from the inside out — as true transformation always does.

We can change our actions without changing our mind; but we cannot change our thinking without witnessing an eventual change in our deeds.  A mind that is informed, and transformed, by the spirit of God will always know the will of God.   – Luther

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  1. I agree. Recently, I have been thinking about the power of confession. Confession seems to rest at the junction between being conformed to the world and transformed by the Spirit. It seems like our walk with the Christ involves first the awareness of the difference between the world’s way and Christ’s. Everyone who attends church has some awareness of this. Unfortunately, I can agree with the message, and not be changed by it. As James writes “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23–24, NIV) The next step is confession where I admit to God and others where my life does not correspond to the life of Christ. This sheds light upon the conflict between the way of the world in my life and Christ. Once I admit my sin to another person, I cannot ever put that genie back in the bottle–they forever know.

    The next step is repentance. If all I do is confess my sin, I am like a person who goes to a therapist for a problem forever. The therapist may help me feel better about my problem and my continual attendance may be a secure stream of income, but if I do not come away with some plan to change, the sessions do me no good. Paul’s description of the thief illustrates this–“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” (Ephesians 4:28, NIV). Confession is admitting sin with a desire to stop stealing. Repentance is two fold. The first is action to deflect the surface reason for the sin–working for stuff rather than stealing. The second is an action to attack the heart reason–in the case of stealing–greed. However, if we simply redirect our greed into our work, we still have a problem. Paul says, we give our income away–this attacks our greed at its core.

    I am convinced this is program of transformation. Each time the Spirit convicts me of sin, I need to confess it to another believer. Take immediate action to reverse the surface sin, and look for ways attack the heart motivation of my sin. I have found this takes more prayer than my customary prayers.

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