Ended last week talking about what God’s will truly is - having his people do that which pleases him.
Obedience certainly pleases him, but does that include “grudging” obedience?
Somehow, someway we have to get away from simple “obedience” and come into what I would call “alignment” - where my thoughts, my wishes, my desires AND my ACTIONS are aligned with his.
I need to get to the place where I do what he would do when he would do it.
The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.
The problem - I’m sinful. I’m base. I’m dirty. Its who I am. In my natural state, I don’t think like Jesus. I don’t act like him. I don’t MOVE like him.
I posted this earlier this week on Facebook and got a strong response from it:
God permitting it doesn’t mean He’s approving it!
God will allow me to do all sorts of things - and I might not even be penalized by him for it. But does he truly approve of it? Does it please him? And here’s the bottom line:
Our nature, our tendency as fallen beings is to do what we are not punished for -
over the speed limit because we KNOW we can get 10 mph over - OR there’s no cops around
pocket cash w/o paying taxes because no one knows
I’m not condemning - I only know about these things because I occasionally do them. But the point is - that’s who we truly are. NOT creatures who by nature and disposition seek out and do that which pleases. In fact, I’ve had people in this church say that doing that is brown nosing.
So we have our nature, our disposition, our tendencies and the way we think.
If I want to find my way into God’s heart, if I want to fulfill all His will, SOMETHING has to happen. Something has to change. But what?
We find at least a part of our answer in a powerful verse taken from one of the more impactful chapters of the entire bible - Romans 12.
In this verse, Paul gives us a:
for our lives.
Let’s take a look at it:
“Don’t be conformed” - don’t DO that! Don’t be who you naturally are. Don’t be who the world wants you to be. Don’t be what you learn from the world around you. DON’T DO THAT!
The world would press you into a mold.
To be “conformed” is to have the world so tightly packed around us that the God in us cannot come through.
VACUFORM - its kind of how this world works - heat you up through all kinds of pressure and then suck you into its shape and form.
That’s what CON-formed means, “con” - with, together
Paul says don’t be CONformed but be:
metamorphoo’ - metamorphosis
“Trans” - beyond, through, changing thoroughly
Instead of being pressed into a shape, you burst the mold and become something totally different.
You go BEYOND the world and what it is trying to CONform you to.
You TRANSCEND it to TRANSFORM
Instead of taking your old ideas and trying to change them to be better ideas, you let them all go and let NEW ideas come in.
To be “transformed” is to let the God in you take such control that He changes you from the inside out.
And just how to we do that? Paul tells us we do it through the:
“Renovation” of your mind: No one who is renovating a house would call a random 2x4 here and there a true renovation. A renovation - a true one - means tearing out the old and putting in new. A true renovation gives you a new point of view, a way of looking at things.
Remember the illustration I used last week - sitting in the chair and “remembering” that it was Sunday? Well the entire 3rd commandment is this:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
An example: The old mind, conformed to the world (thinking from the world’s point of view) says that I can go out on Saturday night (wherever, it doesn’t matter), stay up as late as I want, do what I want, as long as I can make it to church before its over. I’ve “remembered” the Sabbath AND obeyed the assembling of yourselves together part.
The transformed person with the renewed mind (thinking from God’s point of view) remembers that I am a child of the King. The King has done everything for me and HE has asked me to keep one day of the week holy to Him - set apart for and to Him. Sunday is that day! I owe him more than I could ever repay. Not only that, but he loved me when no one else would or could, and because of that, I love him. I cannot wait to come to his house to take part in worshipping him. This is my goal and purpose on Sunday, and I will not do anything that might detract or hinder my absolute dedication to Him on HIS day.
Its a matter of PERSPECTIVE. And my perspective changes when I begin to allow the Holy Spirit in me to have control.
Bring it back around to the series: God’s Heart
So why would I want to renew my mind so I can be transformed?
Paul answers us in the last part of the verse, but let me use a different translation that more fully describes what Paul was saying:
What is the best way to prove that anything works in your life?
How do I find out if the car or truck I want to buy is everything they say it is? BY TESTING IT!
How do I find out if the suit I want to buy really fits me and looks good on me - I try it on!
How do I find out if those food items they have in the carts all over Sam’s are really good and pleasing and perfect? I pick one up and TRY it.
This is what David meant when he wrote:
You can never know good and pleasing and perfect it is to fulfill the Lord’s will until you try it in your life.