Romans 12:1-2 (Amplified) – 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].
(NJB) – Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and mature.
If your mind isn’t renewed, you won’t be able to discern for yourself the will of God. You will only know what God wants you to do to the degree you think like Him. What He wants of your life is way beyond human thinking and your preconceived ideas.
(MSG) – Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(Phillips NT) – With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.
(WuestNT) – I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by a once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service,. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
Transform – metamorphoo – to change, transfigure, transform, to change into another form.
This word is on three occasions in the New Testament: Romans 12:2; Matthew 17:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Matthew 17:2 – And He was transfigured (metamorphoo) before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
Luke 11:34-36 – The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.
My whole body can be full of light with no dark part in it. The more of God’s thoughts fill me, the more light there is in me. The light in me is connected to my thoughts.
2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (metamorphoo) into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
This passage is also speaking about light. Moses’ face shine with such glory that the people around him could not look at him (3:7). How much more the glory of our covenant (3:8-11). If you want to be filled with light, be filled with God and be filled with the thoughts of God.
2 Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who said, light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure (the light of His glory) in earthen vessels (He lives in me), so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.
The light of God dwells in me. The light of God fills my mind. The light of God shines through me in surpassing greatness and power. My greatest treasure if the glory of God in me.
How would you like to shine like the sun? Renew your mind.
How would you like to change your entire life? Renew your mind.
If you change the way you think, you will change your entire life. If you change your thoughts, that will change your life. You can’t change by changing first your behavior. You can only change by changing your thoughts first.
Ephesians 4:17-24 – So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
People that don’t know God are darkened in their understanding and are excluded from the life of God. (again the renewal of the minds is spoken of as light and dark).
People are excluded from the life of God because of ignorance.
(AMP) – Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
In reference to your former manner of life, lay aside the old self. Put off and discard your old unrenewed self which characterized your previous manner of life.
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self – which has already been created in the likeness of God. Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. Constantly have a fresh mental and spiritual attitude. Put on the new nature which is already created.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Put off and lay aside your old man by being renewed in the spirit of your mind. You are change, you are transformed by changing the way you think.
So, if you want to change, change your thoughts. Your entire life flows out of your heart and out of the thoughts you think.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
(KJV) – Keep (preserve, observe, guard, protect, maintain) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(NLT) – Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
(TLB) – Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life.
(NIV) – Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
(YLT) – Above every charge keep thy heart, For out of it are the outgoings of life.
(MSG) – Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.