Transformed or Conformed?

It’s been said that after a husband and wife have been married for a long time, they start to look like each other. Maybe it’s especially so, if they’re best friends, as it’s also been said that best friends’ faces start to look alike! According to Psychology Today, “Over time, there is the possibility that friends’ faces become more alike because of using similar facial expressions; lots of frowning or laughing or looks of disgust may actually lead to changes in facial patterns.”1

“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God–what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.”

Romans 12:2 GNT

This verse may be really familiar to you, if you’ve been absorbing the truths of Scripture for any length of time. It presents us with a choice, which we can use to assess where our minds are…and, therefore, our actions. We can either conform ourselves, or we can let ourselves be transformed by God. In essence, it starts with whether or not we want control. If we do, then we haven’t let God transform our minds and are already conforming ourselves to the standard of this world; this is evident by our initial decision for control. Whoever is taking control shifts or alters our thoughts and behavior.

The Greek word, in this verse, for “conform” is suschématizó (soos-khay-mat-id’-zo). It’s made up of two words: sýn, meaning “identified with,” and sxēmatizō, “having outward shape.” Together, they mean that you’ll be identified with whatever form you exhibit on the outside. We all know that what we think and value is evident on the outside by how we talk, what we talk about, what we wear, and how we conduct ourselves. If we value and strive after things that others, living in this cycle of time, who don’t faithfully follow after God, value and strive for, we will be identified with them, whether or not we say we’re different. Our words may say we’re different, but our behavior will look like we agree with them in their pursuits.

Who might others identify you with, based on what you exhibit on the outside (it could be a type of person, actual individuals, individuals who behave in a certain way, etc.)?

The other option, is to let Adonai-Yahweh (Lord LORD/Sovereign LORD), be Who He is: master and sovereign ruler (this refers to all three persons of the God-head, since “Adonai” is plural), GOD of gods (Yahweh). As author Stephen Neilsen put it, Adonai-Yahweh’s name could be translated as, “Our Lord [master]…is GOD…,” which would mean that He rightly holds the position of authority (sovereignty) over our lives.

Can you honestly say that GOD of all gods is the master of your life?
Do you make your daily decisions based on His rulership of your life…with the mindset of serving Him?

If we believe Him to be our master, sovereign ruler, GOD of gods, we can choose to “let [Him] transform us inwardly by a complete change of our minds.” The Greek word, here, for “transform” is metamorphoó (met-am-or-fo’-o). The two words used to make up this compound verb are metá and morphóō; metá means “change after being with” and morphóō means “changing form in keeping with inner reality.” I love the word metá!! This so goes along with the truths we have been digging into in previous posts about the fruits of the Spirit…That it’s the Spirit of God Who produces these outward results in our lives, because of what He has done inside us, in the deepest part of us. Our outward, visible form takes on qualities of God, which He is and has been cultivating, invisibly, within us; and it’s all because…we have been with God…Whew! Does that give anyone else chills and cause you to praise?!?

So, where are you today?

  • Are your decisions falling in line with the truths of Scripture, or are you “tweaking” truths to your liking or to popular opinion?
  • What are the outward results of your thoughts? What does this tell you about your thoughts?
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Feel free to share a comment on this post. Your story or how GOD is speaking to you about this may resonate with another Liv life and encourage them to be transformed by GOD.

1 Gibson, Brittany. “The Real Reason You and Your Friends Look So Much Alike.” Reader’s Digest. 8 May, 2019, https://www.rd.com/article/why-you-and-your-friends-look-alike/.

2 Nielsen, Stephen. “Hebrew Names of God: Adonai.” Prayer A to Z. 8 January, 2012, https://studyingprayer.com/2012/01/08/hebrew-names-of-god-adonai/.

2 Comments on “Transformed or Conformed?

  1. “Our outward, visible form takes on qualities of God, which He is and has been cultivating, invisibly, within us; and it’s all because…we have been with God…”
    Wow! What a challenge! On those days I just feel ugliness….its my time with God that can make things beautiful! Thanks for this, friend!

    Like

    • “We have been with God” was a favorite for me, too!!! It resonated so deep…I’m overjoyed that He touched you through it, too, my beautiful friend!

      Like

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