Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
As we begin 2021, what goals and dreams do we want to see come to fruition? Most surely we all want to see an end to the COVID pandemic and a return to normalcy in our lives. I’ve grown tired of all the political drama and division. Dare we hope our country will once more be more united?
Perhaps we’re longing for a personal goal to be achieved…a career change, new relationship, retirement, improved health? My primary goal has not changed since 1997. It’s actually more of a dream. I want a medical miracle to transform my imbalanced body.
Instead, my dream for this year is that God will transform my heart and mind to know what He wants me to accomplish with this precious life He saved. Because of my traumatic brain injury (TBI) and imbalanced body, I can no longer move as quickly and effortlessly as I once did. So my prayer is that He will enlighten me to how I can live for Him without those things in my life.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
Psalm 51:12-13 (NIV)
This is not a simple thing. Just how are we supposed to know the mind of God? We can earnestly pray to know His will. Then expect Him to show us what He wants us to do for Him.
We can read what He says through scriptures…including not just the Bible, but any God-honoring spiritual book. He’ll speak through our television, our phone, our Internet. He speaks through our family and friends. Sometimes we see His hand in circumstances in our life…or in the world. Our job is to keep praying…and listening.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
Once we figure out what God wants from us, DOING IT is a little trickier. Do we need self-discipline? Determination? Good ole spunk? All these qualities are helpful, but on their own, none will do the trick. We must surrender our plans to God trusting that He will show us what He wants us to do.
Doesn’t that just put us right back at square one trying to figure His will for our lives? In a way… we trusted Him to show us our dream. Surely we can rely on Him to make it happen through us.
We’re asking for a mind and heart transformation. Expect to look at life differently. We’re viewing things from His angle now. How does He want us to go forward in ways that will benefit not just us, but our family, our community, our world?
Alcoholics Anonymous or any 12 step program gives us the main ingredient for success. We must turn what we are struggling with over to our ‘higher power’. For most, our higher power is God Almighty and His son, Jesus Christ. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we move forward in the way we perceive that God wants us to go.
This mind and heart transformation will ultimately lead to a physical or material transformation. Wait expectantly! It won’t happen overnight, but how long did it take us to get where we are now? We may have a lifetime of not being led by the Lord, but He can change our thinking instantly. Our job then becomes continuously tapping into that divine source.
Instead of ending with a personal prayer, I want to share a prayer I pray out loud every morning…even when I haven’t allowed time for any other prayers. It came from one of the final chapters of a book by Matthew Kelly that our pastor gave us several years ago at Christmas. I call it my transformation prayer.
Here I am Lord.
I know that you have an incredible plan for me.
Transform me. Transform my life.
Everything is on the table.
Take what you want to take and give what you want to give.
I make myself 100% available to you today.
Transform me into the person you created me to be,
so I can live the life you envisioned for me at the beginning of time.
I hold nothing back.
I am 100% available.
Lead me, challenge me, encourage me, and open my eyes to
all of your possibilities.
Show me what it is you want me to do, and I will do it.
From The Greatest Lie in the History of Christianity
By Matthew Kelly
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