When we pray, “Thy will be done,” we automatically put forth a challenge between our inclinations and God’s regulations. For, since we are sinners, we’re naturally inclined to follow our own desires as opposed to the One we’re supposed to obey. Following God’s will means going the direction he wants us to go, whether we want to go that way or not.
Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed.
One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. “Why do you toss the stick more than once?” someone asked. “Because,” replied the woman, “it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right.” She then dutifully kept throwing the stick into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go! (Today in the Word, May, 1989, as cited in different sources.)
In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul discusses how Christians “may prove what the will of God is” and it doesn’t necessarily mean throwing a stick into the air until it points the way we want to go. He wrote,
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect,” (New American Standard Bible, NASB. PLEASE NOTE: All scripture quotes will be from this translation unless noted otherwise).
Notice the two words the apostle uses which point in opposite directions—“conformed” vs. “transformed.” According to the Greek language, “conform” means “fashioned with the age.” The current age is characterized as evil.
In Galatians 1:4, Paul claims that Christ gave himself as an offering for our sins in order to deliver us from the evil of this age, thus fulfilling God’s will. He stated that Jesus Christ,
“…gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father.”
The fashion of this age does not fit the mold or pattern for the way we, as believers, are to live. It’s basically influenced by ungodly people who advocate philosophies, theories, and lifestyles that go against the teachings established by God according to his Word. If you want to see a sample of what some of these fashions are, look up First Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; and Revelation 21:8. You’ll notice that those who follow these fashions will not inherit the Kingdom of God in the Age to come, and will be judged for the Second Death. It’s a most serious issue!
Rather than fashioning to the spirit of this evil age, the Apostle Paul urges believers to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word for “transform” is interesting. It comes from the same word as “transfigured,” as in the transfiguration of Christ before the presence of Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:2). As Paul applies the word, he is pointing to a real change—the same change that the disciples saw in their vision of Christ’s second coming when the Lord’s “…face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light,” (Matt. 17:1-13).
Another fascinating feature about the word “transform” is that the Greek word for it, metamorphoo, is the same root for the English terms, “metamorphosis” and “metamorphize.” (HELPS Word-Studies, as cited in BibleHub.com.). You might recall biology classes during your school days learning about metamorphosis, such as caterpillars transforming into butterflies.
Paul is speaking in the imperative tense: “be transformed,” no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts,” about it. Therefore, he is making it mandatory that believers must undergo a kind of spiritual metamorphosis if they are to ascertain and accomplish the will of God.
Paul is not exhorting believers to go half way but all the way for going the way God requires. It’s a matter of mind over not what matters to us, especially, but what matters to God. Indeed, what matters to God ought to matter the most to us, IF we’re transforming according to the Power of Christ in which we’ve chosen to submit.
In essence, this is the will of God. So that, in effect, we will experience something which has much better and longer lasting results than anything offered in this present evil age. For, as we read in Romans 12:2, God wants us to have a change of heart and life for three rewarding reasons: (1) It’s good; (2) It’s acceptable or well-pleasing; and (3) It’s perfect. You can’t get any better than that!
In fact, look at the following scriptures and you will see the wonderful benefits of transforming to the will of God:
+Psalm 40:8. It brings personal delight.
+Psalm 143:10. It keeps us on level ground.
+Matthew 12:50. It enables us to have a wholesome relationship with the Lord.
+Matthew 7:21-23. It keeps you from becoming a fake Christian.
+1 Peter 3:17-18. It puts our suffering for good in proper perspective.
+Hebrews 12:4-13. It provides personal discipline out of our Father’s love.
+2 Peter 3:9. It reveals God’s patience toward us so that we’ll be saved.
+James 4:15-17. It reminds us to humbly make the right choices.
+1 John 2:17. It inspires moral living with the aim of receiving eternal life.
Good News to YOU!
P.S. Here is Hillary Scott and the Scott Family presenting, “Thy Will,” http://youtu.be/nRBmoRa9cjo