The Living Dead
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. (or reasonable service) 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.” Romans 12: 1-2
Everyone I know or run into wants to know what God’s will is for their life. Who doesn’t? In this short passage Paul lays out pretty clearly what we need to do to find out what His will is for us. It starts with us becoming a living sacrifice. Which is not an easy task. Death to self is a common theme in Paul’s writings and being a living sacrifice means that we basically become living dead men. We need to surrender all of us to the service of God and hold nothing back. All our hopes, dreams, desires and talents need to go voluntarily to the altar of sacrifice. We need to be emptied of self and filled to the top with Jesus. This is a huge task to surrender all in such a manner, but this is our Spiritual act of worship. That’s right worship is about self denial and NOT about singing a few Spiritual songs. We may praise with our lips, but self surrender is about giving ALL there is to God. We may think this to be an impossible task, but other translations simply call it our REASONABLE service. This surrender is not about going over and above what is simple and needed. It is just a reasonable response to all Jesus did to purchase us.
The next part of being able to know God’s will for our lives is to not allow ourselves to be conformed to the pattern of this world. This means we come to a place where we are able to deny ourselves of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We are not to do or to act in the manner that the world does. This is very difficult to do, especially in this day and age when most of the modern traditional “Church” has patterned itself after the ways of the world. Most “Churches” have professional LEADERS and operate like corporate businesses these days with Pastor CEO’s and boards. Plus many “churches” pattern parts of their services according to modern advertising methods in order to draw more new members and tithers.
Finally, if we want to know God’s will for our lives we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That means to stop thinking like the world and start thinking like God. Our minds are renewed by spending intimate time with Jesus and those who love Him in free and open fellowship. One of the main ways to do this is to spend quality time reading the Bible and learning about how God thinks, but even better is spending time with sisters and brothers who know Him, His Word, and His ways. Because as always, “Iron sharpens iron.”
If we do all these things and in increasing measure, we will be able to know, test and approve what God’s will is….His good, pleasing and perfect will. Now who doesn’t want to know that? If you want to know it, well then you have to live it! The good news in all of this is we don’t have to do all this in our own power. The fact is, that who He calls, He equips and all we have to do is ask, seek and knock and the door will be opened for us This is NOT at all about our skills and talents. The one thing we must do to gain the mind of Christ is to surrender, and after that surrender some more. ”The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 24
Kirk Out !