If you know me, even a little, you know that I've been a coffee lover since my days in the US Marines.
After my morning greeting ritual with my Heavenly Father, the first thing I typically do is get a cup of coffee brewing. My prayer and Bible reading time is always accompanied by my coffee cup.
You may be wondering what any of that has to do with today's verse:
DO NOT CONFORM TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND.
The world is not for you, but against you; it is a cold and often brutal place. You may not believe that we have an enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy. The fact of the matter is that refusing to believe something doesn't make it any less real. And, as a warrior, I understand the value of a target who is unaware of my presence and my intent. The target's ignorance makes the job I came to do much easier. The enemy is real.
The strategy of the enemy is to use the patterns of the world to undermine your foundation and destroy what God is building in you. The pattern of the world is manifest in the works of the flesh. Paul the Apostle tells us the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.
When you give in to these things, you are undermining yourself; ripping up your own foundation. The world around you will applaud and encourage you to be "open" and "progressive" as you do, because they are blind to the eternal implications. The target's ignorance makes the job of the enemy much easier.
We who are instructed by God are called to be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind. In this way it is we who become the victors, we who affect change in the world around us.
The illustration I'd like to use here is a common one- the difference between carrots, eggs and coffee.
Imagine that you've put three pots of water on the stove to boil. Into the first you put carrots, into the second you put eggs, and into the third you put coffee beans.
After fifteen minutes in the boiling water, the carrots will be soft and mushy. Though they once were strong and firm, now the slightest pressure reduces them to mush.
The eggs will look the same on the outside. But inside they will have become hard. Very, very hard.
The coffee has faced the same boiling water as the carrot and the egg. But only the coffee has transformed the water. An interesting observation is that, if the beans were ground up before they were placed into the water, that will only have enhanced their impact on the water and increased their ability to transform it.
If you feel like life has been putting you through the grinder; perhaps you're just being prepared for increased impact. Allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind and make YOU the change agent. God turns victims into victors and tests into testimonies.
Don't be conformed, be transformed. Then become the agent of transformation.
Be the coffee.