“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
How do we allow God to transform our lives?
From my experience, it started with sincere prayers in which I asked God to manage and orchestrate various important, yet very practical areas of my life (e.g. What job offer to accept).
At the time these prayers were made, I didn’t think too much about what God would do, where He’d lead me, or even how He’d go about doing it. I had ambitious professional and personal goals of my own – based upon my acquired knowledge and wisdom up to that point in life, so I moved in that direction and hoped God would endorse and help me along.
As time progressed, my attempts to grow closer to Christ naturally resulted in a deeper relationship and understanding of Him. The professional and personal path I had established for myself was becoming more and more difficult to travel. Doors were closing. Things weren’t going the way I had planned. I wasn’t where I thought I’d be – certainly not where my peers seemed to be, or where society would expect me to be. My plans weren’t coming into fruition and were being turned upside down, all despite my following the rules, doing the work, and playing the game. It didn’t make sense. I became angry – at God and myself.
Despite this struggle, Christ held on to me and, as time went on, I began to notice that the ‘fingerprints’ on my circumstances weren’t mine or anyone else’s. They were His. The direction I was headed in had changed. I was on a different path, a path where professional advancement and self ambition were no longer the cornerstone. Not only that, but I noticed a ‘shift’ in my perspective on the world around me. I was starting to find more value in things that made Christ happy rather than myself, and that defied the societal norm. The struggle was evolving into a sort of bootcamp; whereas I was no longer lost in confusion and frustration, but instead learning and becoming aware of the transformation. I was being groomed and directed to a place of higher purpose. The best thing was that I started to value and welcome the process rather than resisting its growing pains.
Today, the saga continues.
As I intentionally continue on this walk with Christ, He continues to groom and separate me from conforming to the ways and customs of society. I’m at a place where I welcome the challenges and lessons that come with this; and I attribute my ability to accept and value it all to the fact that He’s been transforming the way that I think along the way. I’ve also found that by having a renewed mind and perspective, I am increasingly sensitive to what God’s will is in more and more areas of my life. …and it is indeed good and pleasing.