Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:2 AMP
Sometimes we are conforming to this world and we don't even know it. The influences of our culture are so subtle that we just take them as 'this is how we do life' without questioning as to whether that is God's way to do life. We see wants as needs. We accept certain behaviours because seemingly 'everyone is doing it.'
It is a challenge to step back and question what we are thinking, saying and doing. Asking the question, how does this align with God's plan and purpose for our lives? How does this align with God's truth?
But it is a challenge God wants us to take on and embrace.
Don't copy the behaviour 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. Romans 12:2 NLT
And I believe it starts by seeking God, humbling ourselves and asking Him to change us .... but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think ....
Yesterday a friend shared this prayer with me. It seems to me like a great prayer to do exactly that - humble ourselves before God and ask Him to help us break-free and re-align with Him and His plan, when our thinking has gone skew-whiff, we have become complacent, proud, and comfortable with the status quo.
Disturb us, Lord when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
with abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldy,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sign of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
Attributed - Sir Frances Drake - 1577
And yes, some of the lines in that prayer seem a little scary, particularly the 'where storms will show your mastery', but as I have learnt, God's mastery is always more wonderful than we can imagine.
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams] - to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Ephesians 3:20 AMP
So let's take up the challenge today, and pray that prayer wholeheartedly, with courage and expectancy for what God will do and the good He will bring in and through us.