Transformation of the Mind
And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Rom. 12:1-2 NLT
My Paraphrase of Romans 12:1-2:
Based on the fact that God has done so much for us in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we should give ourselves wholly to God. By giving ourselves wholly to God, we worship. Our worship blesses God’s heart and our heart devotion replaces Temple ritual. We are to stop thinking like the world does assuming that God does not care about our needs or supernaturally acts in our personal lives. The world believes that only what can be seen is reality. The spirit of the world is embodied in the love of money, hunger for unbridled sex, and thirst for power. Don’t believe the way the world does, but change the way you think. As you change the way you think, you will mature and take on Christ’s character. As you grow up in Christ, you will know God’s heart and then you will be able to do exactly what God wants.
Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us not to entertain evil thoughts or allow our minds to become passive. The Apostle Paul reminds us that our reasoning processes are fallen and that they must be guarded. If our thoughts are not filtered by Holy Spirit discernment, Satan will use our minds to delude us and misled us into error. This error is not just about doctrine, but also concerns our everyday choices and life decisions. In other words, don’t believe everything you think, but allow the Word of God and the Spirit of God to transform all your thought processes.
Never submit to the tyrannous idea that you cannot look after your mind; you can. If a man lets his garden alone it very soon ceases to be a garden; and if a saint lets his mind alone it will soon become a rubbish heap for Satan to make use of. Read the terrible things the New Testament says will grow in the mind of a saint if he does not look after it. We have to rouse ourselves up to think, to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (rv). Never pray about evil thoughts, it will fix them in the mind.
Oswald Chambers, The Moral Foundation of Life : A Series of Talks on the Ethical Principles of the Christian Life (Hants UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996, c1966).