While reading Romans chapter 12 recently, an old saying kept popping into my mind:
“Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
While contemplating that statement, Romans 12:2 comes to mind:
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Three words seemed to stand out: “squeeze,” “conform,” and “mold.” The meaning of these three words give insight to the importance of discerning what the world is telling us and what God desires for our lives.
The word “squeeze” means to force into or through a narrow or restricted area.
“Conform” means to press tightly, forcing pressure, causing restriction.
To “mold” is to work into a required shape or form.
In other words, Paul was saying, “Don’t let the world press in on your life, squeeze you, pressure you, force you into doing or being something God never intended or desired.”
The purpose of a mold is to reproduce something, to make a replica. Casting a mold then forms or shapes an object.
The mold influences the formation or development of the object. If the mold is not properly prepared, the object can become distorted, cracked, and out of shape. The object being reproduced can leave a false, misleading, misrepresented impression.
The mold or casting the world produces is about the flesh and the devil. The world, the flesh and Satan want to direct, control, and influence our behavior. This is done with power, regulation, doubt, and restraint. God, on the other hand, wants to transform our lives, our thinking, our actions.
Transformation is about dramatic change, being converted, having a new purpose, character, and even function. In the English language, the word “transformation” is the same as “metamorphosis.” It is a change from within. Dr. Wiersbe puts it this way: “The world wants to change your mind, and so it exerts pressure from without. But the Holy Spirit changes your mind by releasing power from within. If the world controls your thinking, you are a conformer; if God controls your thinking, you are a transformer.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us:
“Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
How does this happen? It is quite simple! When we spend time in God’s Word, meditating on it, memorizing it, talking to our Father God, transformation will take place.
“When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another: for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
When we yield our will to God, then His power can take over. This surrendering happens through disciplined prayer, being in our Father’s presence and being in the Word of God. By surrendering our body, mind, and will daily to our Father God, transformation will take place.
Remember the quote from Dr. Wiersbe? “If the world controls your thinking, you are a conformer; if God controls your thinking, you are a transformer.”
The following poem brings this transformational truth home to us. May the words of this poem be the prayer of our hearts this year!
A Daily Transformation
By Deborah Ann Belka
“Lord, this year I want . . .
To spiritually grow
I want the Holy Spirit
In my life to glow.
I want a mind
That is regenerated.
On pure, holy thoughts
I want it concentrated.
I want my words to be
Ones that bring new life.
I want them to carry
Peace and never strife.
I want my actions
To ooze with usefulness.
I want my every deed
To exude fruitfulness.
I want my attitude
To be humble and meek.
I want to encourage
The lost and the weak.
I want my reactions
To reflect Your love.
I want Your will
To be all I think of.
Lord, this year I want . . .
A daily transformation.
I want the Holy Spirit
To be my sole motivation!”