Being able to deliver that which is good and acceptable and perfect begins with my mind being transformed. Going through the motions of spiritual activities is pointless unless those activities are connected to a transformed mind.
I don’t think it’s an accident that it says “be transformed” instead of “transform yourself”. It’s not my job to do the transforming, but to let my mind be renewed so the transformation happens. I can’t pull myself up by my own bootstraps and get my own act together; only God can bring about the spiritual renewal of heart and mind that I need.
The next verse in Romans provides another clue into this transformation process. It tells me not to think more highly of myself than I should. As I read through scripture it seems that God is eager to respond to humility on those rare occasions that He finds it. By God’s grace, I (and each of us) have been given a measure of faith that makes humility possible. No one ever came to the foot of the cross in a prideful state. No one can stay at the foot of the cross in a prideful state. So I know I’ve experienced true humility at least once when I recognized the significance of Christ’s death on the cross and accepted His gift of reconciliation with God.
But humility before God was never intended to be an event, but a continual state of existence. Unfortunately, I know all to well that pride is the front-line of the spiritual battlefield and my humility is under constant attack. The more I learn to live in humble faith, the more I ask God to change me. Not just to ask, but to long for it. “As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants for You, O God”, says the psalmist. And then to follow through with gratitude. As Psalm 69:30-32 says, magnifying God with thanksgiving pleases God more than anything, and the humble recognize that and are glad.
Humbly ask, and express appreciation. Two good, acceptable, and perfect evidences of a transformed mind.
More thoughts on God’s role and our role in that transformation to come…