Consider these verses. Often we stop with verse 2, but verse 3 is meant to be included in the whole truth of this. If a person is a backslider on God, it began in the mind. If someone pleases the Lord, it begins in the mind. What affects the heart first comes into the mind. Jesus said the Pharisees had eyes that couldn’t see and ears that couldn’t hear. The eyes and ears are entrances to the mind. What affects our mind will affect our heart and then it will affect our lives. It all begins in the mind.
This is where revival begins—in the mind. It’s about “transformity” not conformity. It’s a good phrase or motto to have as Christians. It sums up what we are to do. Don’t conform to the world. Be transformed.
Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
We are to present our bodies—our whole self. It’s safest way to commit to the Lord. It must first be in the mind. Being a Christian is not merely conforming from the world to a religion. It’s a taking of ways. Just conforming to coming to church or talking about it doesn’t work. That is just modification. To be a Christian we must be born again—transformed. We can say that revival is coming so we’re going to shape up. That’s good, but there must be a renewal of the mind. We come to the Lord. If I drop over right now, some of you will come up here and check me out. You’ll see if I have a pulse and if not you’ll try to revive me. Revival is about being revived—transformed—not about conforming to something. The reviving of the mind is necessary through its renewal.
Right after he tells us to be renewed in our mind Paul cautions us not to think too highly of ourselves. Revival begins with a personal inspection; it’s like getting a good checkup. We’ll go to the doctor for a physical checkup and he’ll tell us some things we need to monitor on our own. He may tell us to check our blood pressure and pulse. God does the same. We go to the Master for our spiritual checkup. There is a failure of God’s people to monitor ourselves. We dwell on worldly things. We become distracted and just assume we’re okay. Why have revival if we don’t see the need for it? Our chief concern should be our relationship with God. The things that disturb us are everything else but the spiritual. When we take requests to the Lord for our body, have we given thought to our soul? Instead of knowing God’s Word, we slip. Things are not like they used to be and many blame others. Back in the old days, things were just as bad but we were more focused on the Lord. We need a renewed mind in the way we think.
Proverbs 23:7 says for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…. What we think about most is what we’ll do. The only way to get close to the Lord is to get him first in the mind. The devil advertises and uses every way in the world to change our minds about the Bible, about right and wrong. He wants us confused. It’s easy to become tolerant of sin and become indifferent to it. We think of the wickedness in the world and just shake our head and go on. None of us is above the devil or being deceived. Don’t assume you’re okay because you have been okay before. How strong are you now?
Think soberly. That means honestly and seriously. Be careful what you let in your mind so that you don’t conform to things you shouldn’t. Seek for a renewed spirit and heart. Keep a clear vision so you can see the devil when he comes around. Ezekiel 11:5 says for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. Underline that. Every thought is known by God. That makes us stop and know we can’t let our mind wander.
We can’t think too highly of ourselves. In Galatians Paul said if a man thinks himself something, he is nothing. We assume things or let things go on and focus too much on problems. Our chief concern should be our spiritual life. We can say “I can’t wait to hear the preacher and the singers.” That’s almost like waiting for the fall races. We won’t accomplish much because that’s just being a spectator. If we want revival we have to think on it. Get off the bleachers into the field. If we want revival we must focus, lay aside conformity to the world, and be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Come to the Lord and say “I need revival. I need a change of mind.” That is what gets lives changed.
The only way to present our bodies a living sacrifice is to put our body and mind on the altar. It is through “transformity” not conformity. Don’t go through the motions. Get involved. Pray. Turn your mind over to the Lord. The devil wants our mind. We have a choice. We don’t have to listen to the devil. Romans chapter 10 says but what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The Word comes to the mind. We believe it in the heart. Revival comes the same way—transformation through the renewing of the mind. I can’t do that, but Jesus can.