March 22, 2017 – Wednesday
Read: Romans 12:1 – 2, NIV
Focus: v. 2, NIV
Do not conform 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.
Proper worship and God’s will are the two thoughts embodied in the two verses of this passage. The NIV publisher chose to set these two verses as one complete section with the intriguing title of, “A Living Sacrifice.” That sacrifice is what we usually focus on when we study these verses and rightly so. However, the real purpose of the “Living Sacrifice” is not in the sacrificing but the results of that sacrificial act.
Why is it important to present yourself as a “Living Sacrifice” to God? This is a sacrifice that does not die to accomplish the desired end but instead lives on as one changed completely and enabled to properly worship the holy God. A transformation takes place that enables the sacrifice to become holy and pleasing to God. Could we say that true worship always involves sacrifice? Does this mean that we should always come before the Father God with our hearts set to yield totally to His purpose for us? The answer would appear to be a resounding, YES!
What does it take to be a transformed sacrifice? Apparently it takes a transformed mind which is then able to fully give of itself as a sacrifice to God to serve His purpose or purposes. I am truly amazed at this thought. Apparently God wants a total sacrifice, freely given, of our total being – body, mind and spirit. But, and here is the thing to remember, we really cannot do this on our own. It takes a partnership with God to bring it about. We subject ourselves to His will. And then, you might ask, What happens? Our minds are transformed and all our intention is taken away from the pattern of this world to see the pattern of God’s world – His kingdom.
It is when this takes place that the last part becomes possible. When we are totally and irrevocably given – by ourselves, freely to God, it becomes possible to “test and approve what God’s will is.” Now, I don’t know what His will is for each of you individually. I do know that we can individually find that will through becoming a “Living Sacrifice.” It is then that he really reveals Himself to us. It is then that we will completely understand “his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
It is a big step to take and a life-changing one that will enable you to really be a part of God’s Kingdom and fulfill His purpose for you and for others through you as only He can direct.