Focus: Transforming your mind
Romans 12:2 (NKJV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It took a while for me to appreciate the importance of following directions. When I was younger, I was more interested in ‘results’ than ‘the process’ of how to do most things. Reading small print and any instructions that called for more than three steps seemed like taking the long way around to me. Part of the time things worked out okay. I had good mechanical skills and simple logic can go pretty far. But, as I got interested in doing things a little more complicated like wanting to be a TV Producer—I had to be willing to submit to “due process”. Which meant enrolling in courses, doing assignments, studying textbooks, showing up for class, and sometimes hiring a tutor.
As you learn to be a Producer, you study and learn to do all phases of what goes into a production. After the first year—most of what we did was projects—which required working with a team of people. The first few projects were simpler and we were given plenty of time to complete them. During that time—teamwork seemed like a nuisance. Some of the team members were slow and uninterested in sharing their part of the responsibility and it was hard for me to wait on others to do what I could have easily done myself in less time.
Later on, the demands became much more difficult. The assignments were a lot more complex and the amount of time we were given to finish them less and less. There was really no way to complete a project unless everyone did their individual part and we all worked together as a team. By the time I finished school—I had learned some very valuable information—but the most important thing that took place was the transformation of my mind.
I gained the understanding that the job of a Producer is to plan and make provision for every detail of a production. It’s the Producer’s job is to oversee the Directors. Sometimes, you will be the Producer and a Director, too. In either case, you will have to possess the ability to give clear directions to a team. The only way you can do that—is if you have done a lot of planning in advance and you have a complete and solid grasp on what it is you are setting out to produce. First, you learn to follow directions, then you learn to give them. Part of being a good Producer or Director is being able to write out and execute an intelligible ‘game plan’ for others to follow. When I enrolled in school—I had no idea that becoming a Producer had everything to do with following directions and teamwork—two things I wasn’t even good at. In order to become what I wanted to be—I had to be willing to change.
When we are in a deep hole of depression and dependency, we can want out—but wanting out might involve more than we think. In the process of recovery—you might find that it’s more work than you thought it was going to be. You might even question whether you really want to be free…because in order to stay free—your mind is going to have to be transformed. It would be so cool if the transformation could be done by the snap of your fingers. Usually, it’s not that way. So many things have contributed to your condition. You might blame others—but a lot of the responsibility rests on you and the choices you have made. If you don’t like how you’re feeling and you want to feel better—change is going to have to happen. Don’t expect others to change—the change has to begin in you.
The biggest reason we got messed up like this—is because we chose to think and operate in the ways of the world. We based our concept of what a happy and fulfilled life would be—on what we saw in the world that appealed to us. We tried to get what we wanted out of life without considering what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God might have to do with it.
Human beings aren’t naturally great at taking direction or following directions when it comes to God. Our instinct is that we can figure it out without following the instructions or being part of a team. Only thing is…we can’t. God thoughtfully designed a plan that works. When we don’t follow His plan—or we decide to skip parts of it—we end up with a problem. Sometimes, we want to re-write the plan ‘our way’. That doesn’t work, either. Even if you think you’re ready for change, a couple of big obstacles you face are that you don’t understand God’s language or His rules. Unless you submit to the process of allowing Him to transform your mind so it will work the right way and you can understand His language and rules—you can’t get anywhere.
It’s not hard to get started. God is very patient. In the beginning, the assignments will be simple and you will have plenty of time to complete them. As time goes by, you might have to be willing to be part of a team—His team. As you grow, you will see how much better things work when you are following His instructions and you’re functioning alongside others who have the same purpose you have. You will learn to live a happy and fulfilled life because you are conformed to His likeness and not the likeness of the world.
Declaration: I will find new strength by allowing God to transform my mind so I can understand His language and His directions. As I apply myself to His ways, the change in my life will prove that His will is good and acceptable.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.
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