December arrived and I had yet to feel any confirmation on what my WORD of the year would be. I tried not to panic and force it. The Lord gently reminded me as I prayed, He would provide it.
It came during a sermon at church. The pastor only but spoke the word once and I knew it was my word.
I don’t remember any more details from the sermon because my thoughts became a jumbled mess of people, ideals, thinking, believing and behaviors – all which I could envision a transformation. I journaled furiously about what I thought the word meant, how I would apply it, and it’s impact on my life, my family’s life, and the lives of those around me. I began pulling one loose string of thought after another. By the time I had it all unraveled, my word both exhilarated and intimidated me.
The word is one of two dominant verbs in my life verse, Romans 12:2.
For most of my life in Christ, I’ve embraced the former portion of the verse: do not conform to the patterns of this world. But now, I am confident God is telling me to begin focusing on the latter portion: be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
I began studying the verse deeper. Matthew Henry’s commentary on Romans 12:2 says this:
The transformation is here pressed as a duty; not that we can work such a great change ourselves: we could as soon make a new world as make a new heart by any power of our own; it is God’s work.
Phew! My intimidation with the word softened as I realized I cannot transform anything or anyone, including myself, without God. He’s got that covered, my job is to renew the mind.
There are 2 essential keys to renewing the mind: (1) It occurs through the Word of God and (2) It’s great enemy is conforming.
So, in 2017, I’ve embraced a magnificent partnership. I will renew my own mind through prayer and deeper, more consistent study of the Word while rejecting conformity to any likeness of the world. In return, God will transform lives. Not just my life, but the lives of my family and all of those whose eyes, mind, heart and ears He has opened around me.
Easy enough, right?
I have a lot of people on my heart who could use some Holy transformation:
-Seven of these people now have dedicated transformation prayer journals where I will pour out prayers and claim promises for their transformation.
-Seven others will be given the power to renew in the form of a One Year Bible I will lead them through.
-Untold numbers will potentially hear my voice or read my words promoting transformation, of which I must be incredibly prayerful over.
For myself, I am praying for a transformed TRUST. Most specifically, I desire a confident trust to overtake all I do. I do not want to be mentally/spiritually/emotionally thrown off by the ebb and flow of daily struggles. I want to have such a confident trust in the Lord’s work through every detail of my life that the wind and waves of trouble do not sway me.
I can have a day where the greater majority of my children can’t stand me and still proclaim, “It is well with my soul.” I can walk out onto a stage, speak for 90 minutes about not conforming to the world and giving smart phones to kids, and then walk off confidently trusting I spoke the exact words the Lord knew those people needed to hear. I can confidently trust that vigilantly pursuing nonconformity will not lead to my children’s rebellion. I can do both Walgreens and Brave Parenting with confident trust that in God’s perfect timing I will not be bound to Walgreens full-time.
I could continue forever. The point is I cannot snap my fingers and change how my thoughts trail off into despair when troubles rise. I must be renewed through His Word, through prayer, and through surrender. I will give God my mind. I will give God my will.
Together, we’re going to see some transformation!
What is your WORD? I’ve love to know.
Do you need to see TRANSFORMATION? I’d love to pray.