2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
In the 1990s, there was an art movement popularizing Autostereograms (Magic Eye Pictures). Remember the patterned pictures that looked like a fabric print? If you stared at them long enough, you could see a three-dimensional image appear. There were a lot of cross-eyed art lovers in that decade. For some of us, it took a while to train our brain to look at the two-dimensional design and find the treasure waiting for us in the middle.
I imagine we can apply some of those principles today without the headache. Paul remains relevant in our day when he says, “Don’t be conformed to this age.” Before Magic Eye was introduced, we were accustomed to viewing pictures in two dimensions. God calls us to look past whatever our culture is pressing on us and look to Him for a different perspective. What we see in the here-and-now is two-dimensional. To experience transformation, God invites us to break free from the world’s mold to enjoy deeper purpose and wholeness.
Transformation first takes place in our hearts. When our hearts are fully surrendered to God, He begins to take flat perspectives and giving them new meaning. Following our hearts, our minds begin to see the three-dimensional image in the midst of the chaos. For me, I imagine a cross jumping off the page.
To the extent that our minds have been renewed, everything can be distinguished as either good or evil. It is either pleasing to God and in clear focus, or it will be seen as worldly, foreign and not in line with God’s will for our life.
One last tidbit of amazement. Once you’ve gained a three-dimensional perspective in the Magic Eye picture, notice how the picture follows you around as you stare at it. No matter which angle you look at the picture from, the image in the middle is always there, developing an almost kinetic quality. It’s only when you lose focus or take your eyes off the picture that the image will leave you.
The same is true for viewing life through God’s perspective. The transformation in our hearts and minds can fade. If that happens, we have to take time to deliberately renew our focus.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- With which perspective are you viewing the world around you? Are you seeing through the lens of man or through the vision of God?
- When was the last time you renewed your mind to match your Holy Father’s?
- Are you able to discern what is good, pleasing and the will of God? If not, spend some time in the Father’s presence. Ask Him for a new perspective.