Rom. 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Maybe the pattern of this world has a way of imprinting itself on our lives. When we choose a lifestyle in which we love God, but look no different from the world and make no real impression of Christ at all in those around us, we allow this worldly pattern to become our pattern. We then find it difficult to stop conforming because these patterns and habits have become natural for us. So we pray and pray for deliverance from sin and the things we hate about ourselves, and nothing really happens. Not that we expect God to just supernaturally change us (which He can), but prayer just doesn't seem to be bearing fruit. I think this verse is key to what God is talking about in regards to freedom and transformation.
Take a look at our sin. What do we struggle with? Follow your steps back and trace the events of your struggle. What bad habits are a common factor? Are there small, even minuscule things you neglect or do or do that could possible play in to your struggle. I have found that it is the small bad habits that tear the whole thing down. Bad habits like neglecting prayer and Bible study, laziness in my quiet time, allowing materials that are not glorifying at all to God into my life, things like this change everything without us even knowing it.
Next, study the gifts of the Spirit. Ask yourself if God is shining in these areas of your life and if not, pray for God's Spirit to work in those areas. We do not have a God that desires that we be far from Him and stagnant, we have a God that is exactly contrary to that. Sometimes though, the process of freedom must imprint itself on our lives for us to stay free(though ultimately we who believe are free from sin). The transformation is the beautiful part.
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