Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Be Transformed

 Scripture: Romans 12 v 1 - 2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

When we are born again according to the will of God, we are translated from the darkness of this world into the Kingdom of Light in our spiritual being.  Our spirit comes alive in Christ in Heaven after being dead through sin before we were even born.

Ephesians 2 says we are seated in Christ in heavenly places.  We probably feel different: cleaner, more peaceful, lighter.  This is because the weight of sin has lifted off our spirit and the dead numbness has been removed from us.  We are alive in a real way for the first time in our lives.  The greater the sinner the deeper the release and joy.

After a time of rejoicing in our new life, some old problems creep back in.  We get too comfortable and start thinking about how God won't mind if we do a little sin now and again, just so our friends don't ridicule us, and its not harming anyone!  God does mind!  He went the extra million miles to restore us to His Kingdom and He doesn't want the dirt of the world contaminating it with its stench.

So He wants us to present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice.  Jesus created us and bought us back from the Devil's clutches with the ransom of His own life.  So we present Him with our bodies and have no further control over them, any more than a corpse has.

He decides what is good and bad for our bodies and how they should be clothed.  He has the right to remove harmful substances from us, things that poison us and make us behave badly......things that can kill or maim us.  He wants them gone.  He needs our permission to take them away and keep them away.  

Paul has an answer for weakness in 2 Corinthians 12 v 8 - 10: "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Jesus says to us, My strength is made perfect in our weakness.  When we admit our weakness to Him and ask for His help, He will add His ability and strength to our weakness and we will be strengthened to have the victory over every circumstance.

James 4 v 6 - 7: "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

God wants to transform us out of the reach of the devil.  The whole Bible is written to enable us to be truly free of every impediment.  He loves us and wants us to live the abundant life.  Before we can resist Satan, we must submit humbly to God in our weakness.  His strength added to our weakness will enable us to withstand every temptation.  The devil flees when he sees who is standing with us.  But we must ask Jesus for help so we can give Him praise and credit and not brag about our abilities.

We need our minds transformed to accurately discern the will of God so we can conform to it.  If our boss gives us a plan of what he needs our skills to create for him and gives us all the tools to do a perfect job, and we mess up because we didn't understand it and didn't bother to ask, will we be appreciated?  Probably not!

We are submitted to God to follow His plan but we don't know what it is because we don't ask.  How will we ever get busy with the right plan? God says in Hosea, My people perish through lack of knowledge.  It's not just education, which is important, but lack of knowledge about God's individual and corporate plan.  We will wander forty years in the wilderness going nowhere slowly until we are working with the Lord to fulfil His plan.

Our role will be revealed to us as we seek the Lord to discover His plan.  As we read the Bible, certain verses will stay in our minds or have a strong impact on us.  If we stay with that theme and look a little deeper, we will know the Lord is leading us to where He wants us.

There are many who are doing a great job for the Lord, but are cut off from others because the proper links in the chain are missing.  They have their hands full of worldly pursuits and never have quality time with Jesus to find out the amazing miracles He had lined up for them to do.  

When we sing "I Surrender All" the Lord believes that we mean it and waits for us to actually surrender.  When we never show up even though we sing like we mean it, He will say of us, Matthew 15 v 8 - 9: 

"This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  
9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Let us avoid His sad words and make Him happy that He saved us.  He was once so disgusted with His created humans that He wiped out all but eight of them.  They were the only ones left that honoured and obeyed Him.  This world is not some cosmic game.  It's a cess pool of sin and horror that we have been saved out of.  We must be grateful and honour our God.  He has power of life and death over us.  Choose life every time!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, time is running out and still Your people are playing scary games with their salvation.  Send this message as a call to arms that we can be in Your strength to resist sin.  You are closer than any ambulance or police car, and able to help in every situation when we call upon Your name, Jesus.  Let us be transformed to please our Father.   In Jesus' name. Amen.