The Transformed In Mind
By George Müller
“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
As the redeemed of the Lord it becomes us continually to keep before us that it is not our salvation but the glory of God that is the ultimate end. We ought never to lose sight of this. In order that we may do our part as witnesses for God in this world, it is necessary that we should not be conformed to the world but be transformed. Without this it is entirely impossible to be witnesses for God in a right way. We may think we do this thing and we do another thing to the glory of God, and yet only insofar as we are not conformed to this world but are transformed, are we truly witnesses for God.
We have been bought by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God in Christ has done so much for us, and as that precious Lord Jesus Christ has done so much for us, it well becomes us that we, the sons of the Most High, should not wait for the afterlife in order to aim to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son. We shall in that day be perfectly conformed to the Blessed One, but as far as in us lies we should aim at it day by day already in this world.
The first thing that we have to keep before us is this: that it is the will of the Lord that we should be transformed. Another point for our comfort is that this is possible – that it can be done through the renewing of our minds. This latter point we have to keep as much before us as the former.
First, then, it is the will of the Lord that we should be transformed. In our natural, unsaved state we all go the way of the world – that is, we go our own way. We may be amiable people in the eyes of our fellow men. We may be honest and moral, and everyone may speak well of us even before our conversion, but yet we go our own way. In this state, it is entirely impossible to please God because we set Him not before us. We do not do what we do to the praise of His name. We use our bodily strength, our mental powers, our talents and gifts just as we please, in order to gratify ourselves. We do not use them to the praise and honor and glory of God.
We do not use our profession, our business, our money for the Lord, but we use them as it pleases us, because we go naturally our own way. That is how we dishonor the Lord, how all natural men through their living to themselves and not living for God, do dishonor God until we are renewed by the Holy Ghost. All the resolutions that we make to be in a different state will not alter the case.
Thus it will go on until we are convinced that we have been sinners, needing a Saviour, and until, as lost, ruined, guilty sinners, we have put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and have accepted salvation through His atoning sacrifice alone. In this way we are, by the power of the Holy Ghost, renewed. In this way we obtain spiritual life, and then begins the possibility of being transformed.
While thus the beginning is made, it is only the beginning, and we should not be content with the beginning, but our hearty desire should be to be transformed. In this way we show our love and gratitude to our heavenly Father by being witnesses for Him in this evil world.
Conformed to the Image of God’s Dear Son
We must not forget that the eyes of the world are upon us, that they want to see whether there is a difference between us and themselves – whether our lives witness for God, or whether they do not. In order that it may be so, that more and more we aim after conformity to the image of God’s dear Son and that already in this life, in some measure at least, we make progress in this conformity to the image of God’s dear Son, it is a matter of deep importance, that day by day we seek to keep before us what we have been redeemed from, and what we have been redeemed unto.
In the measure in which it is kept before our minds that once we belonged to the power of darkness, that once we were the slaves of the wicked one, that once we were the children of the devil, and that we have been brought out of this state, that we have been transplanted into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and that we are no longer dead in trespasses and in sins as once was the case and that we are no longer the slaves of the world and of our own wicked evil hearts – so shall we be constrained by love and gratitude to aim at this, that we shall seek increasingly to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son.
We must not only keep before us what we have been redeemed from, but what we have been redeemed unto. All our sins forgiven – already, now, justified before God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; begotten again, children of God for time and eternity, and as such, the heirs of God and the joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, ere long we shall reign with Jesus on the throne, and with Him judge the world.
The more this is kept before us, that we shall spend a happy eternity in glory, together with the Lord Jesus Christ, that our own eyes shall see that blessed One, and that in seeing Him as He is, we shall be like Him, not only obtaining the glorified body, but be perfectly free forever and ever from every sin – the more this is kept before us, the more shall we be constrained in this world already to seek the glory of God.
Miserable Going Our Own Way
Further, we have to aim at this, that we keep it before us that it is the will of the Lord that the human creature should not be happy while walking in separation from God. This should be a settled conviction in our minds, that what God has determined is that the human creature shall be miserable going his own way, and that peace and joy in God and in the Holy Ghost can only be obtained by walking with God – by walking in the fear of the Lord. If this were really the deep conviction of our hearts, we should aim after walking in the fear of the Lord.
Living for God
In the next place, it should be our deep, hearty longing to have but one single object for our life – to live for God, to please God, since it is impossible that in going our own way, we should be happy or could really have peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Let us not be satisfied until we come to this – that the whole heart is given to the Lord, so that we can stand before the Lord and say, “My Father, You know all things; You know that Your poor child is feeble and weak, but You know also that my heart is given to You: You have my heart.” So should it be with us, and if it is not, oh, let us be determined that our whole heart should now be given to the Lord!
Then, my beloved brethren, we have not to lose sight of this that, though the whole heart is given to the Lord and we desire with our whole heart to live for the Lord, in ourselves we are weak and feeble. We have no strength of our own, and we must adopt certain means, whereby with the blessing of God, we shall be kept in this frame of heart and shall go on in this frame of heart all the remaining days of our life.
In order that it may be thus, it is a matter of the greatest importance that we remain conscious of our own weakness and nothingness and ignorance all the days of our lives and therefore in simplicity in the consciousness of our weakness, cling and cleave to our Heavenly Father in prayer. We must be men and women given to prayer. Day by day going to our Heavenly Father for help, strength, support, wisdom, for everything that we need, thus speaking to our Heavenly Father.
Then coupled with this must be letting Him speak to us. When we pray, we speak to Him. When we read the Word of God, our Heavenly Father speaks to us.
Bow Before the Word of God
Are we really men and women who love the Word of God? How does it stand with us in this matter? How much have we been reading the Word of God? Oh, beloved in Christ, it is a matter of deep importance that we are men and women given to the reading of the Word of God – regularly reading it, consecutively reading it, but then, we should couple with this – meditation.
Meditate, if it only be for a short time, upon only a small portion of the Word, and do this always with reference to our own hearts. Read the Word of God practically, as the Word of God, so that our fallen reason bows before it. It is God who says it, and that should be enough for us, whether we can understand it with our fallen reason or not.
“What… thou knowest not now… thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7) – is applicable in this respect also, and we should patiently, and prayerfully and believingly wait till that time comes when we shall see why it is so and why it is expressed in this way and not in another. But always have it before us practically that the Holy Scriptures contain the Word of God, and therefore it becomes the fallen human being to bow before the Word of God.
But we should mix faith with the Word, and we should read and ponder it with the special object of carrying it out in our life. If we do not mean to act according to it, prayer and the reading of the Word will profit us very little. It is given to us for the very purpose that we should act according to it, and in doing so our peace and joy in the Holy Ghost will be increased more and more.
The blessedness of this I have known in my own happy experience for the last forty-seven years and nine months, and I can recommend this very particularly to my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us be honest. Let us never cease to act according to the Scriptures, and then with whatever weakness (as at the first may be the case) we shall surely make progress, and get further and further in knowledge and in grace.
Honest Confession at Once
If any one fail in any way after all this, what then? Simple honest confession at once, without hypocrisy or without seeking to excuse our failure. There should be unmistakable confession before our Heavenly Father. Then seek to experience the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ afresh with regard to our own hearts and to lay hold afresh on the promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Afresh consecrate the heart to God, afresh yield ourselves to Him, and seek His grace with regard to the future.
If anyone were to go on in this way, what would be the result? The fulfillment of the promise of our Lord, “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance” (Matt. 13:12). As assuredly as anyone walks in this way, he will be less and less conformed to the world and more and more transformed. He will be more and more like Jesus. Though it will be but little in comparison with what it may be, and what it ought to be, still there will be more and more conformity to the image of our precious Lord even in this life. He is worthy, that blessed One who laid down His life for us – He is worthy that we should seek to live for Him!
Oh, my beloved Christian friends, let us aim at this! The Lord delights in giving us blessing. It is the very joy of His heart to give us blessing. If we are only willing to receive blessing. If we are only willing to receive blessing, He is ready to give far more abundantly than we ever expect to receive. It is a blessed thing, even for this life, to walk in the ways of the Lord, but what He looks to you for is the whole heart.
Wholly the Lord’s
In this one thing we must be honest, that there does not remain to ourselves a part of the heart. He wants the whole heart. He says, “My son, give Me thine heart,” not “part of thine heart.” Nor does He say, “My son, give Me a little of your money,” He will accept nothing in the place of the heart.
When the heart is really given to the Lord, then the purse is given to Him also, then the profession and business are given to Him also; then our houses and lands belong to Him also; and all we have and are belongs to the Lord. At this we should aim, and with nothing short of it should we be satisfied.
– From Counsel To Christians.