“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
All of us are being conformed, the question is what are we being conformed to. It is a good thing to stop from time to time and ask ourselves this question. Daily we are all either becoming more like Christ, or we are becoming more like the world.
Not terribly long ago, I picked up the Bible for the first time in weeks or maybe months. My heart was not in a good place. My spirit was suffering. I opened my bible and began to read. I didn’t intentionally turn to Romans 12, I was just desperately seeking some encouragement so I simply opened my bible and began to read. At this point it didn’t matter, I simply needed words of life. Has anyone else ever been here?
It seems though, God knew exactly what I needed to hear. I read these 2 verses in Romans 12 and the scales that had been forming for the past few months suddenly fell from my eyes. I scribbled the following lines in my journal:
“Reading Romans 12:1-2 today. Amazed at how far I’ve fallen. What am I offering to God? Nothing. What is conforming me these days? The world. In every situation I feel like I’m doing the exact opposite of what God is asking of me. The results are obvious. My world seems to be falling apart. Lord, help me.”
And you know what? He did. How? By sending me back to his Word. By giving me once again that thirst for He and His Word. By drawing me daily into his presence through prayer.
Of course, it isn’t always easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. For me, this seems especially true when it comes to matters of faith. But the Bible never says things will be easy. Even in this short passage, it says that we must present our bodies as a “living sacrifice” and that “by testing you may discern what is the will of God…”
Most times I’d prefer not to have this testing. I like easy. But sacrifice is never easy. That’s why it’s called sacrifice. But it is through our daily offering of our bodies to God, especially through the tests of life, both big and small, that we are indeed “conformed to the image of Christ” , which Romans 8:29 tells us has been the plan all along.
Indeed…Lord, help me.