Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. (Romans 12:2 GNT)
The pressures and temptations of this age are no less than those of ages past – evil still threatens those who belong to Christ, and they are called to walk even closer to God the shepherd.
As in the early church, lives are changed, and minds are renewed by the Holy Spirit. As this renewal happens the believer is better able to discern God’s will. Paul instructs the church in Rome to ‘discern’ or test God’s guidance by stepping out in faith to practice being guided by the Holy Spirit in the right ways. ‘Discernment’ has a practical aspect to it – it can only be proven in the act of doing.
We seek the transforming of our minds to become more in line with the will of God and as we do so our lives are transformed. Part of our spiritual growth is the desire to be able discern the will of God and follow it in the living of our lives and seeking what is “good acceptable and perfect”.
There are many who follow other paths by decision or in ignorance, neither of which is godly. Paul prays that the people of God will ask for the inward transformation of their minds. The ability to discern is given through the Holy Spirit is response to our asking in prayer and in faith.
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. 9 Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? 10 Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? 11 As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 GNT)
No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 GNT)
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1;11-12 NIV).