2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
Discernment is a beautifully messy process. I think what makes it so messy is that we have a habit of putting words in God’s mouth. If you have never heard my…what can only be called a rant about the story of Jephthah’s Daughter from the Book of Judges, ask at your own risk. It’s a text all about the dangers of us deciding what God says and agrees to and I have very strong feelings about it.
God is constantly calling us to be transformed, to be made new, to be resurrected from our sins of yesterday. But to be transformed, we must discern God’s calling in our lives. This is difficult. What if that inspiration to do something is just our own wanting to do it and has nothing to do with God? What if we have to make a big life-altering decision, and the heavenly radio is stuck on static? What then? Let’s admit it, sometimes we take shots in the dark and it doesn’t always work out great.
In thinking back to Sunday’s sermon, the first step of transformation is prayer. Just like getting coffee with a friend is a great way to catch up, spending time in prayer with God is a great way to build that relationship. In building that relationship, we can develop our ear to differentiate God’s voice from ours. In Paul’s words in today’s text of Romans, he tells us not to conform to the world – but how often is our voice of reason just convincing us to conform? It’s so much simpler to just conform, so much safer. Deciphering God’s voice, following it, and allow it to transform us is not simple and safe – it is complex and rebellious. It “is good and pleasing and mature.”
That’s the kind of transformation I want.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
With Ash Wednesday tomorrow, think about the role you want transformation and resurrection to play in your life this lent. What can you give up or add into your life that will transform you into whom God is calling you to be?
Prayer: God, transform us this lent season. Amen.