renewing the midRomans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Carol received a call from her doctor.  He needed her to come in to discuss the results of her exam.  She was nervous; normally, the doctor would simply call and inform her that her exam results were fine.  So quite naturally, she was anxious as she walked into the doctor’s office.  All kinds of thoughts raced through her head.  Her doctor sat close to her.  “Carol, I called you in because I wanted to let you know the results of your exam indicate that you have cancer.  The good news is, we caught it early, and we can treat it, but this will require a change in your lifestyle.”  Carol was stunned.  At that moment, however, she determined that she wanted to live as long as she could.  She made up in her mind that moment that her lifestyle was going to change – everything from her diet and exercise to her thought life.

In the above story, Carol had a life altering event.  This is what is to happen to us when we receive the kingdom of God – the gospel interrupts our lives and becomes a life altering event.  The kingdom of God is not simply knowledge that we carry with us as we continue on with our lives as we please; rather, it is life altering news that causes us to make up in our minds at that moment that our individual lives are going to be completely changed.  The gospel is a clarion call that we hear that compels us to drop our self-willed lifestyle and obey the command of Christ – “follow me.”  Our minds become renewed as we obey our Lord on a daily basis.  It is this daily seeking of the kingdom of God that becomes an urgency in our lives.  But we cannot be transformed if we stubbornly try to remain conformed to the things of this world. We must have the courage to lose our conformity if we truly desire to be transformed.