BY JORDAN MAYER
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Have you ever picked up stones along the beach or riverbed? As you turn one over in your hands, you'll find the surface remarkably smooth and rounded. Though a small child might think it a special kind of rock, it is merely a product of the environment it has been exposed to. Over the course of days, months, and years; the water and tiny sediment slowly wear away the rough surfaces and sharp edges. By a nearly imperceptible process, the stone is shaped and molded until it looks and feels like all the others.
Though we might not realize it, our minds face similar pressures. Like the winding channels that are formed by flowing water, ideas can take root in our minds to form thought patterns, behaviors, and habits. This is what Paul alludes to in his letter to the believers in Rome. There is a danger for followers of Christ to be inwardly changed, yet outwardly indistinguishable from the world around them.
The danger is not so much overt, but convert. We may be wise to a sudden bold attack, but less likely to notice a slow and methodical advance.
Jesus warns of false prophets who would appear as wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15). Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), even quoting Scripture in his efforts to tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:6). And Paul warns the Colossians of false teaching that has the appearance of wisdom (Colossians 2:20-23).
Though the root of the issue was as relevant in Paul's day as it is today, the results of modern technology ensure constant and immediate access to myriads of voices vying for our attention. From the TV screen in our living room, the computer in our lap, or the phone in our pocket, there is a near endless supply of messages eager to broadcast into our lives.
But we need not resign ourselves to a life of conformance and compromise. And yet, our minds cannot operate in a void. To remove one thing requires another to fill its place. In emptying ourselves of worldly wisdom, we must fill up on the wisdom from above, namely God's Word. If we want any hope of combating the corrupting influence of counterfeit truths, we must look to the genuine article.
So what are we filling our minds with on the daily? Do we suppose that a brief exposure to the Word on Sunday’s is enough for the spiritual warfare of the week? Are we sometimes naive in thinking that a small dose of God's Truth is all it takes to withstand the onslaught of lies and mistruths to which we are exposed? Does only a little Scripture a day keep sin and the devil away?
But the issue lies in the framing of the question. It is not a question of how little of God's Word we need, but rather how much. We are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). We must meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2). We must store it up in our heart (Psalm 119:11). Like food for our body, Scripture is the sustenance of our soul. We need it daily, consistently, and constantly.
And we must remember that His Word is living and active. It discerns the thought and intentions of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12) in order that we may discern His. As we take it in and meditate upon it, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will begin to work in our hearts and in our minds, transforming and renewing them in the knowledge of truth. The more we read, the more we take on the mind of Christ.
Today, this week, this month, and this year; let us all endeavor to plumb the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God (Romans 11:33).