Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
As I was reading this passage it suddenly stood out to me – God wants us to be living sacrifices! Not following our own desires, but doing whatever He asks us to do, no matter how uncomfortable or lonely a path it may be. God is asking us to present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices that are pure and holy. Not corrupted by sin, but filled by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:6-8 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
Even everyday “non-spiritual” things such as eating are really part of our Christian walk. Because we are owned by Him, God cares about everything we do.
It is easy to have the thought that it is only special “spiritual” things such as bible study time, prayer, being in church, evangelizing, etc that we view as spiritual or “the Lord’s work”. All we do should be viewed as the Lord’s work. Whether it is work, interacting with friends, evangelizing, teaching, enjoying life, or even eating, God wants us in whatever we are doing to have our lives centered on Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
If we are a living sacrifice in all of life, doing and being whatever Christ asks of us, however difficult or mundane it may be, then whatever we do will be glorifying to God.
So I have mentioned the will of Christ and that we need to follow it. How do we find out what God’s will is? How do we know when God is speaking to us? This is answered in Romans 12:2:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
So we are told to not be conformed to the world. But what does that mean? Well we could take it to mean, as some have, that God is telling us to not be like the world. The problem with this line of reasoning though is there is almost no end to where you can go with it. I mean even if we wore animal skins and roamed as nomads far from civilization, there would still be things that we would do that would be like the rest of the world. Guys, it ain’t talking about clothes!
God tells us that in order for us to be able to prove – i.e. discern – God’s will we should not conform to the world but have our minds renewed or renovated as the word could be translated. In the nomad example I gave, we could look totally different from society on the outside, but be no different on the inside. Our thought processes could still be the same. What I think God is really trying to tell us is that we need to let the Holy Spirit renovate our minds and make us fit for Him to live in!
Our minds and hearts have to be renovated in order for us be able to discern the will of God. If we conform the way we think to the way the world thinks, then we will not be able to be transformed into the holy temple of Christ, and we will be unable to discern His will and hear Him speak.
1 Corinthians 1:18-28 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
Brothers and Sisters, are you willing to be a living sacrifice and follow Christ no matter what?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.