Rom. 12: 2
“Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Images and events from the world are constantly paraded before us, claiming our attention and response. If we conform our view of reality to everything we see among these images, we would most likely be terrified and dismayed. Instead of blandly following the world’s lead, we can bravely challenge whatever is unlike heaven and make it conform to God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will before letting it enter our consciousness. Jesus taught us to do this in his prayer, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
In other words, “Thy good and acceptable and perfect will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” This is not an “anything goes” attitude. It is a conscious choosing to allow only what is good, acceptable, and perfect to congregate in our thought. Jesus taught us, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.”
Having a heavenly consciousness on earth takes watchfulness. We first must be able to recognize a little of what heaven is. Jesus said our Father is in heaven. He also said he came down from heaven and yet remained in heaven, giving his followers some idea of how to experience heaven on earth. To consciously live with our heavenly Father (and Mother) while on earth is to bring heaven to earth. This means conforming to God’s will instead of human will. God’s will is clearly described here as good—a simple guide to whatever is heavenly on earth.
But God’s will is not just good for some and not for others. It is also acceptable and perfect to everyone concerned. Humans don’t generally believe that something can be good for everyone. They limit the possibilities of goodness. But to God, nothing good is impossible. God makes everyone a winner, everyone blessed and everyone included in goodness. A mind conformed to the world may not recognize this, but that is why we sometimes need to renew our mind by going back to its Source.
God dwells in the heavenly realm of Spirit, yet is supreme in the physical realm of earth as well. In Spirit there is no limitation to what God can do and is already doing for man. The limitation comes from allowing our mind to be conformed to worldly smallness– its lacks and doubts and discords and injustices. But even if we have succumbed to the world’s bounds, we can be renewed and transformed by referring back to that heavenly will of God as possible and powerful and active and demonstrable right here and now on earth.
In Jesus’ greatest struggle with the world, in the garden before his crucifixion, he finally felt peace when he said to God, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” Some may think that Jesus was yielding to a horrible fate when he said that. But he knew that God’s will was good, acceptable, and perfect and that it came with all the strength to transform a bad situation into a good and acceptable and perfect one. Jesus felt twelve legions of angels around him from that moment on. He was indeed renewed and transformed through crucifixion and resurrection in a way that changed the whole world along with him.
The world presents the crucifixion as having been God’s will. But Jesus transformed the awfulness of the crucifixion, through the renewing of his mind and body, into the great, grand, good, acceptable and perfect evidence of eternal life in his resurrection and ascension.
Wasn’t this Easter resurrection truly God’s will? It verified the angel songs at Jesus’ birth, of good will to all and peace on earth. Our Easter response can be to opt out of conforming to the horrors in the world, but to transform them day by day, moment by moment, by minding and upholding God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will on earth as it is in heaven.
Matt. 13:47, 48