I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Romans 12:1-2 AMPC
It indicated that this pressure comes upon believers to conform them, fashion them, and adapt them. When he considers the tremendous events that happened in their becoming born again, he says at best it is external and is meant to bring pressure to conform to it.
He then encourages believers to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. He is saying that even though you are born again, you will battle in your mind. The priorities of the kingdom of God have a direct impact on our mind and body. By saying this he clearly indicates that we need to be vigilant about what goes into our minds. Let me make a comment here. When you came to Jesus Christ and received Him as Lord and Saviour, you were born again. That transaction happened in your spirit. You are a new creation in Christ in your spirit. Old things have passed away and all things are becoming new.
I used that quote for good reason. There are two tenses. One is in the past and the other is in the present. What has passed away is any attachment to your spirit person. What is passing away (present tense) is the present effects of this world’s system upon your mind and thinking. The Holy Spirit indwells you in your new created person. That is your brand new spirit person. That part of you, I believe, cannot and will not fin against God.
Yet there is an ongoing battle in your mind and thinking. In that arena of battle, your mind, is where you exert the word of God. Where by decision and purpose you placed first the kingdom of God and its righteousness. To think that there won’t be a battle in light of this scripture is naivety.
We in this present church age are given spiritual armor that having done all, we stand and having stood we continue to stand. Our decision and priority are wrapped around putting God’s word first. When we do, this world and its external pressure and superficial customs are left totally exposed to the mind of Christ which we have received. God’s kingdom in you with the power of the renewed mind is more than enough to stand and continue to stand.
Remember God calls these things superficial. I think there are times when we would gasp at that word superficial. It feels as though we are completely becoming undone by what is coming down on us.
I wish to continue to encourage you in this time of enormous pressure. God’s kingdom will prevail. Even though it may appear that all is lost, it never is. These pressures are lies, deceptions, and illusions that this world and our enemy, Satan, would use to unravel us. Let me assure you that if you will take the priority of God’s word first above any other pressures coming upon your mind, God will honor your decision and strengthen you to the task of living the life that Jesus has called you to.
God has never set us up for failure and defeat. We are called more than conquerors to Him who loved us. N conclusion take the word of God against your foes. Have it in your mouth and speak it into your situations with hope and confidence that God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect.