OVERCOMING THE WORLD

Bible Reading: 1 John 2:7-29; Romans 12:1-2

Some people have misunderstood the world and see it purely as things and places to avoid. It is in actual fact a spiritual realm that is totally opposed to God. In his epistle John says that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. He goes further and says that nothing in the world comes from the Father [1 John 2:15-17].

One of the titles given to Satan is the prince of this world. Speaking about His death on the cross, Jesus says, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out” [John 12:31].

This world system has no room for the God of the Bible. It has its own system of beliefs and cultures, known as worldviews, and these vary among the different peoples of the world. In J. B. Philips translation we read, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould” [Romans 12:2].

The Biblical way to overcome the world and its way of thinking is to have a renewed mind. Romans 12:1 is very clear, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….”

On our bookstalls there are whole sections of self-help books. These may have some value, but they miss out the dimension of the Spirit who renews the mind. Surely the spiritual renewal of the mind is more than simply self-help, and the danger is that we depend upon what the world says rather than the Holy Spirit.

Most Christians recognize that their thinking should be different, but many seem at a loss as to how to accomplish it. Bringing our lives into line with God’s Word will bring about this renewal of our minds and transformation in our lives. If we think on the same things that the world thinks on, we are going to get the same results. If we keep our minds stayed upon God through the study of His Word and fellowship with Him, then we’ll have perfect peace [see Isaiah 26:3]. Only when we renew our minds can we enjoy the good, perfect and acceptable will of God. Then we will think with the mind of Christ and overcome the world.

Question:

It is so easy to slip into thinking in the way that the world thinks, and especially when we are bombarded with issues in the media. Instead of passively going along with the status quo will you instead seek what God says about these issues in His Word?

What steps are you taking to fulfil this injunction of Paul to have a renewed mind?