The new you… transformed!
“I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (from Romans 12:1-2)
If we are brutally honest (as we always should be!) then we must admit that there are times when we just get lazy in our walk with God. We know what we should do, we even know what God has provided us – but we just kind of kick back and ride the “lazy wave” for a while.
The problem with this is that it soon leaves us outside of where we should be. We end up acting more like the world around us, than the God Who redeemed us. Deep inside, we know that our laziness costs us more than we would like – as our hearts get colder and harder, and we fall back into the old patterns of our lives.
Truly, so much of this Christian walk is dependent upon a full and complete surrender to God – every moment of every day. That is our only task. God has done everything else for us. And that is what Jesus is trying to get us to understand.
The love of God is constant.
The provision of God is complete.
The work of God cannot fail to transform us – from worldly… to other-worldly.
That is why the apostle is pleading with us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices.” This means that our minds are set on the fact that we are “dead to ourselves” but constantly alive to God – and His will and purposes for us.
We see this pattern often in Scripture… We “must consider (ourselves) dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11) And it is why the Lord Jesus said things like: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Everyone, in that day, knew what that meant… the cross = death, and carrying one daily meant you died, to what you wanted, every day!
This brings us back to what really matters. All this talk about what God can do for us really means nothing unless we take His words to heart. We cannot afford the “luxury” of part-time faith in God (a “crowd” mentality). He will love us. He will care for us. But we will never be transformed – because we have not fully surrendered to the One Who makes total transformation possible.
Jesus came to make us totally new – with hearts for God, and His purposes. To give us meaning, and a power to live life, that this world cannot even imagine. But He will not force these things upon us. And they are not automatically applied…
The truth is: we can have as much, or as little, of what God offers us… it all depends upon us – to fully and unreservedly surrender everything we are to Him.
Each day we must decide to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)
Prayer focus: God, help me to get up each morning with a zeal to live only for You!