Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age (world/generation/trend), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Knowing what’s good, acceptable/pleasing and perfect in and for our lives can be somewhat frustrating.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ll take the good over the bad any day, RIGHT? I mean that’s kind of a no brainer, but it’s when we get stuck between the good and the acceptable that decisions get hard.
Romans 12 isn’t talking about us WANTING the good vs the pleasing stuff that satisfies us. No, it’s talking about us being able to discern what IS the good, pleasing and perfect stuff; the will of God (stuff) for our lives.
But what IS the will of God? And how do we get there?
The first verse in Romans 12 gives us a hint: to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and goes on to give us further instruction to be transformed by renewing our mind.
But can I be honest for a second.
Real talk. This scripture sort of annoys me.
It annoys me because I’ve heard it overused.
I’ve heard it tossed into agendas of people that throw a faith-based slant on their marketing to attract a new client.
I’ve heard it used in a way that says “oh yeah, God does have something to say about all of this”. And it annoys me because after it’s added like it’s a hashtag, there’s no real proof of the living sacrifice.
So, just as God would; here’s the check I got from God concerning this verse: (here’s me admitting the change)
Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world – the way you see everybody else doing this, worry about YOU and what God is doing IN you, through you, for you, to you and with you. Make this between you and God.
See sometimes we fix our eyes on the wrong thing. And you know what that’s not, that’s not the will of God. It’s just like the enemy to get us distracted and break the process of our transformation. It’s not good, it’s not pleasing and it’s certainly not perfect. It can shift our focus away from God’s plan and get us caught in our own emotions, fears and misguided judgements. So again, by looking back at Romans 12 by renewing our minds changing the way we think about all of this living; God can begin to help us discern what’s good.
“There are certain things that we know for sure. We know that it is God’s will for us to love Him body, soul, mind and heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves, but what about the things we don’t know for sure. The Bible doesn’t tell us which car to buy or how many children we should have and at what age. This freedom can feel threatening at times, but Jesus doesn’t want us to live in fear. He said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10. Jesus talked about life, about living in liberty and not being rule by fear that we might make a wrong choice.” – Sheila Walsh Discovering God’s Will For Your Life: A Women of Faith Study Guide Series
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May Your gracious spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10
Transformed by Discipline
We think we found the good thing then along comes something that looks better and suddenly we find ourselves at the crossroads of self-control & desire.
Any time we make a decision to change we can trust three things.
- We can trust that change is inevitable.
- We can trust that change is constant.
- We can trust that change has results.
We cannot trust that our responses to the change will always produce the same results.
We always tell our kids that it’s not about what happens to you but how you respond to it.
The challenges & trials we face can & will be used by God to completely change us much like the way the transformation of a caterpillar creates a butterfly. But again, our response to this determines the length of the process which gets us to the results.
Pause for a moment; do you remember your most recent ‘caterpillar’ phase of life?
Side bar: Keep in mind that change is constant. No one arrives and boom there they are; that’s it. If you know someone who claims/believes they have I highly suggest you not use their process as your standard. In fact, that’s a dangerous pride filled life that results in a very hard fall. (Proverbs 11:2-5)
In your cocooning who did you become after your MOMENT of being wrapped, isolated, set apart. Maybe you’re there now. I think I am.
REMEMBER: Your response always determines the outcome. It cannot be rushed. This life of ours is a beautifully planned process. Honor it!
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)
The path that leads you to your transformation, the one you choose to walk might not be crowded. I can almost guarantee it won’t be simply because the extra mile rarely is. The disciplined life looks like too much to so many people.
You are called to something different.
We’re all called but we don’t all answer.
When you answered God responded.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3 ESV)
I’m singing HALLELUJAH simply because God has a beautiful plan. His plan may bring challenges, but challenges bring change!!!!
Just when the caterpillar thought that life was over, it became a butterfly!!! What looks like the end is really just the beginning of something magnificent!!!! This is a season of shedding!!!! Praise God for CHANGE!!!
⚓️ FIXING MY EYES ON YOU LORD
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. (Psalm 91:2, 4-6 NIV)
It’s seems like more and more I’m having conversations with women who are being diagnosed with some form of autoimmune ailment after suffering from inflammation and/or pain in their muscles, nerves or joints. Everything from Lupus, MS, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and some are much like myself; the doctors just aren’t sure what to call it.
I can tell you first hand, the pain – the agonizing pain – is NOT FUN, and literally none of those medications helped me. (disclaimer: I’m not a doctor nor am I suggesting that you use this as a diagnosis or prescription for your symptoms)
I know what worked for me and continues to help me so I want to simply share that with you, trusting that we can all benefit from the nutritional value of real food!
Today’s freebie resource is one to help with inflammation, muscle fatigue and joint pain. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with these DIS-eases, by including these foods in your everyday nutrition habits we can practicing living healthier happier lives fully functioniwill help keep your body healthy.
Last year I had the honor of reviewing a book called Complete Book of Juicing by Michael T. Murray N.D. which is loaded with healthy juice recipes like the “IMMUNE POWER FRUIT” & many others I’ll be sharing the rest of this month.
Immune Power Fruit
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1/4 pineapple with skin, sliced
This drink is rich in many nutrients vital to the immune system, and it also abounds in flavanoids and other phytochemicals with demonstrated antiviral & antioxidant effects.
Juice the orange, followed by the strawberries and pineapple
One of my favorite go-to juices simply because my body appreciates the tasty benefits of the juice, I have come to absolutely love the recipes from Juicing For Health like this Natural Pain Reliever
Broccoli: Lab studies have found that sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may block enzymes linked to joint destruction and inhibit inflammation. Broccoli is abundant in vitamin K, which in high amounts may slow the progression of osteoarthritis, according to research funded by the Arthritis Foundation at Boston University School of Medicine.
Quinoa: Known as “the mother grain” in South America for centuries, nutrition-packed quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook – which means that in the time you’d normally spend making couscous, you can prepare a side dish with much more protein, fiber and iron.
Stay anchored in this transformation from the inside out:
1 Corinthians 9:23-27 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
23 Now I do all this because of the gospel, so I may become a partner in its benefits.[a]
24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Lord I pray that you would keep our eyes fixed on you. You started this thing in us and you promise to finish. Help us not become distracted, become overwhelmed or become discouraged by comparisons. Help us Jesus to recognize that you have a specific purpose for each of us, but in the work you’ve also called us to encourage each other. Strengthen our hearts to be open to others who come along side of us and help us to lock arms with them. Make us brave Lord. Make us brave. In your strength and power we move, breathe and have our being. In Jesus name, Amen!