“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
In this passage we are being instructed to give over our bodies; (mind, soul, spirit) to God as our service to Him. This would include every thought, attitude, and behavior being surrendered and turned over to the reign of God to take over, to flood me with His holy spirit in those places that were once blinded by His truths.
The second part of this message is that in doing this first part, the surrender, I am to take hold of that grace given to me by God and allow His Spirit to renew my mind, which is often where our biggest battles lie, in our own heads.
This is a lifelong process where we will never arrive in any state of perfection while on this earth, but we are lending ourselves to the most holy so His perfect work can be the change agent in our very thoughts.
This process is neither easy, quick nor done without this struggle in our surrendering to Him, those thoughts of everything we had learned and knew prior to receiving Christ and His Spirit.
When we were given the Holy Spirit and became new creations, we began a journey to unlearn and to deconstruct all that we were in exchanging one way of life with another, God’s ways.
This involves action on our part, in submitting to God and this process of renewal will take place as we enter into regularly practicing the disciplines of our faith.
In developing daily habits in prayer, reading and reflection on God’s Word, worship, and mediation on God’s acts as the Holy Spirit works in us. In this way we are participating with this holy transformation and work being done by God’s Spirit.
When we submit we are dedicating, devoting, consecrating our very lives to God each moment, each hour, each day we are gifted this precious life so that His holiness is who molds, forms, and changes our very thoughts and a byproduct of having our thoughts changed is that our attitudes and behaviors will automatically be motivated in this new way of thinking towards the kingdom realm.
Submitting is an active and intentional choice we learn that becomes a necessary component in allowing the Spirit to change our very thoughts, the way we think, what we think on, and where we focus and make a matter of our thought attentions.
This submitting is a continual process on my part and this performing of the work needed to be carried out is the power of God’s holiness who I am allowing entrance into the deepest core of my thought life.
This involves me being intentional in choosing what I am thinking on, about and dwelling on. When I dwell on the content in scriptures as a regular routine and develop regular pattern of meditatively reading scriptures, the life of the Son of God in me, knits the truths of the Word into my thoughts, that ripple into Godly attitudes and behaviors.
As God has created us to have free will, we are given the choice to choose how we will live and a vital ingredient in professing Christ is to choose His ways as a matter of obedience.
When we continue this choosing obedience as a way of life, it is the Holiness of God’s Spirit whom we have chosen to be in and it is His role to actively carry out His promise to do this work, this perfecting of our thoughts according to His glory.
I bring this up today as I encounter many persons who are entangled in unhealthy and destructive thought patterns even as a Christian and they are being held in bondage by their own thoughts, failing to step into the spirit-empowerment and grace God provides for us.
Once we choose and decide to abide in the Spirit-directed, Spirit-filled, Spirit-anointed Spirit-empowered way of being, it is God whose activity in us is the One who does this miraculous change in our thoughts and hearts.
It is God’s who begins and completes this work in us as this is His promise to us.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6
Part of this presenting of our bodies is to glorify God in our thought life. We are able to choose in participating in the work God desires to do in our thoughts, or we can ignore this choosing .
To begin this process is to rise each day and partake in feeding your thoughts with God’s word, regardless of what your thoughts and emotions are telling you and regardless of any circumstance and situation you are in.
The enemy steals, robs and destroys the power of God in our lives when we focus and dwell on circumstances, emotions and situations rather than making it a habit to turn our attentions to the truths in the Word, the truths of who God says He is and the truths of His promises written in scriptures.
Why is this necessary? So when difficulties come and they will come, we will stand in those times on the truths of who God is, the truths of His character and the truths of His promises wherein His Spirit of grace will be our grounding and strength in those times.
Uncertainties, unfamiliarity and the unknown are what comes at us when walking in trials and storms, for there will be situations we have never walked in before and we will only be able to weather them when we know these truths.
In difficulties we often do not feel the presence of God and we feel He has gone AWOL from us. This occurs so we learn to Trust in His grace as our sole source of strength. This happens so that we learn to walk by faith and not sight in the valley of hardships.
This will be a fact in our faith walk, but the Truth we know is God has promised HE will never leave or forsake us and this most holy truth is what we can depend and rely on troubled times.
To conclude I want to give you a few steps you can take to incorporate into your daily routine, so that whatever you face in life, you will do so, Trusting, Believing and Knowing God is with you in it, regardless of what your thoughts, emotions and other people tell you.
Response for Action:
1.) Meditatively read scriptures, memorizing versus that can be of great help and strength in dark times.
2) Daily enter into a regular prayer time, not asking anything of God, but seeking to know Him deeper. If you don’t know what to pray, start with the Lord’s prayer and ask the Holy Spirit for help.
3) Create space daily for worship and praise. Put on some worship music and lift your heart, soul and mind to God as this lifts us from self and turns our souls towards Holiness.
4) Develop relationships with neighbors; have coffee with them, take them a treat, ask how they are, find out about their families, ask if they have anything you can pray with or for them about, then follow-up on these concerns.
Discovering what needs those in our neighborhoods have and nurturing those relationships helps us to serve outside us and helps us to turn our thoughts to other-centered living which is the desire of God.
We can either allow the Spirit of Christ to empower us in our thought patterns or we can continue flailing in struggling with faulty patterns in our own strength which only fatigues and wears us down, robbing us of the power to take hold of God’s grace.
Thank you friends for reading this and my prayer for you today is that God’s holiness will draw you ever nearer to His bosom of love, mercy and grace.
My prayer for you:
I pray God draws you will into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him as this is our holy service in presenting our bodies as an offering to His Spirit.
I ask God to take you deeper into the width, depth and length of His love for you.
I ask God to pour His love in your body, soul and spirit, where you become One in this sacred dwelling place of the Holy Godhead where love is preeminent and may this love be who motivates and drives your inner being each moment in each day you walk with Jesus.