Over the last four posts, we’ve been discussing the transformation process. The theme, in the form of a question, has been: “How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed?”.
Have you been asking yourself this question? God will transform you if you offer yourself to Him. Consider this key passage:
Romans 12: 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
If your definition of worship is limited to singing and praising God, let me suggest that you study these verses carefully. God deserves our worship, doesn’t He?
What does it mean to you to “give your bodies to God”? I must confess that this is a tough verse for me. What it means to me is to allow Him to totally take over my life. He wants me to yield my time, my activities, my attitude, what I eat, what I drink, who I spend time with, what I consume with my eyes, my ears, and even what I think about!
Consider this verse:
1 Corinthians 6: 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
That is what a “living sacrifice” is all about.
This means we can sing and worship in church all we want, but unless we are yielding our lives to Him with a soft heart, it is only lip service.
Can you relate to the following verse at all? Would you say it applies to many sitting in our pews today?
13 And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
I can certainly relate to singing hymns of praise and walking out of church feeling far from God. I’ve had a hard heart before and that’s not a good place to be.
Of course, transformation cannot begin unless we have a soft heart. The very fact that you are reading this message would lead me to believe that you are open to change and that your heart is not hard. The key now is to make yourself available to God and pursue Him with all you’ve got.
Be careful that you don’t end up like so many incapacitated and powerless believers described in this way:
Luke 8: 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
Wouldn’t you rather be described like this?
15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
So while your heart is soft, follow through with the rest of it. “hear God’s Word” (read the Bible), cling to it (meditate on what you read), and be patient, the harvest in your life will come. All the while we can plead to God in prayer to change our hearts. I have first-hand knowledge that He likes to answer these types of prayers.
In order to be successful with a continual habit of reading the Word, it is highly recommended to associate and fellowship with others who do the same. In order to be successful at anything, it is required that you run with those seeking the same results. If you are not currently spending time with the likes of those seeking a closer walk with God, consider the Bible Team calls where some of them congregate on the phone.
As you continue to expose yourself to His Word, seeking Him in prayer and getting to know other like-minded saints you will be staying in good soil and spiritual growth will happen, He’s promised.
Always consider what God truly desires:
6 I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.
What better way to know Him that to read the Book He personally wrote?
We started this message with Romans 12: 1-2 which happens to be a very popular passage. Now let’s read the next three verses:
Romans 12: 3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Do you realize that your personal faith and relationship with God has a tremendous impact on the lives around you? People are watching you, believers and non-believers alike. We all have a responsibility to each other and we, by default, either encourage or discourage others with our daily choices.
I urge you to take the time to meditate on what I’ve compiled here and I’ll close with this:
Philippians 4: 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
How bad do you want to be transformed?
Pray this prayer (I couldn’t have written it better myself.) 🙂
33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.
38 Reassure me of your promise,
made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash