After we have placed our faith in Christ, God calls us to die to self and live for Him. That’s what Paul means when he says in Romans 12:1 that “in view of God’s mercy” to us we are to offer our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” and that this is our “true and proper worship” of Him. It is as we continually die to our selfish desires and live according to Christ’s will that we will be holy and pleasing to Him. The real worship of God isn’t just something that happens in Church on a Sunday – it is part of everything we do in every part of our day!
What Paul is asking for here is an intentional change in the way that we live! And he goes on to reveal in verse 2 that God does not want us to “conform any longer to the pattern of this world”. In other words, we are no longer to match our lives to the fashion of the world around us – we cannot live as we once did.
We cannot live as chameleons either — going back and forth between the two worlds, trying to blend in to each one. Rather, Paul calls us to a different life which is the natural outworking of a renewed mind. For as we submit more and more to Christ’s authority we will begin to think like Him. The more time we spend in His Word and then acting upon what it says, the more we will be able to know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. With Christ at the center of our lives we shall be transformed from the inside out!
I want you to think for a moment about what influences you most in your daily life. What absorbs your time? Shapes your thoughts? Motivates you? In our modern world there seem to be so many “voices” crying for our attention. We can get news and opinions of every kind from literally thousands of sources. We have endless opportunities to educate, amuse, entertain or even numb ourselves — all at the touch of a button or the swipe of a finger. And while there may be nothing wrong with being well-informed or up-to-date, we have to assess what all this information is doing to us. Because it does affect us. Are these worldly voices shaping our lives more than they ought to? Are we more focused on the “pattern of this world” than we are on God and His Word?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that to live for God we have to withdraw from the world entirely, but He may be asking us to change our priorities! We may need to sacrifice some of the things that used to influence us the most and replace them with whatever connects us to the voice of God! We should be being shaped by His voice, not the clamor of the world. Of course, it begins with His Word and with prayer. But there are countless resources out there that will build you up spiritually, help you focus on God’s Kingdom and connect you with others who love Him and serve Him. Let me encourage you to spend more time each day focused on those things. You won’t regret a moment spent with Him.
May God bless you
© December 2021