As if my life isn’t busy enough with a husband, a teenager at home, a young adult away in college not to mention the litany of ministerial responsibilities, I’m adding yet another thing to my to-do list. I miss writing but I don’t want to simply jot things in my personal journal. I want to incorporate my understanding of His Holy word into a 40 day written rendering based on another reading plan. 40 days with God is a reading plan focusing on personal growth. Who doesn’t need to grow in God? This commitment is weighty, but the fruit will be worth it.
12 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. 2 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.
What a powerful reading to start this 40 day devotion of my spiritual growth. This passage in Romans is one of my favorite and has become a mantra. It is a reminder that I belong to God, but I still must submit my body and all that encompasses as a living sacrifice. A sacrifice from the biblical perspective had to die and metaphorically so do I. I die to my ways, my thoughts, my ambitions, my flesh, my feelings, my will and anything else that prevents me from being holy and acceptable to God or would otherwise hinder my worship and reverence of Him. The passage states that my willingness to die to my self is worship. How powerful is that notion? Every time I consider the Lord’s ways above my own…it’s worship. Every time I pray instead of watch television..it’s worship. Each time I submit to my husband instead of giving him a piece of my mind…it’s worship. Every minute spent sharing life’s lessons with my children to help them navigate through this world…it’s worship. Those times I think of loved ones suffering in their body and I purposefully turn over my plate and fast for their healing and deliverance…it’s worship. When I smile and tell the bus driver to have a nice day…it’s worship. Assembling every Sunday to fellowship with like-minded believers…it’s worship. Calling my mom and listening to her tell stories about everything under the sun…it’s worship. Calling my dad to simply tell him I love him…it’s worship. These are simple acts of presenting my body in a manner that is holy and acceptable to God because my reality is I could be doing whatever it is I want to do with my body and it wouldn’t be deemed as worship. He’s a holy God and requires a holy people to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The passage continues to admonish me to not conform to this world. This is only hard if I fail to present my body as a living sacrifice. If these members of mine are yielded to the power of His Holy Spirit there is no way the world’s ways influence my actions. There is something to be said about the succession of things written in God’s word. There are times when the order of sentences have significant meaning…line upon line, precept upon precept. This world is not my home and I have that belief rooted and grounded in my heart and conscience. There is nothing this world offers that reigns greater than the grace and mercy gifted to me from God. This world is perishing day by day so I want no parts of anything slated for destruction. Lord, help me hate what you hate and love only what you love. Just writing out the sentiments of my heart proved to be a renewal of my mind and also a place of testing. I know I will be especially proven in the areas of dying to my self. This flesh wants to live and act out, but my witness for Him has to be the victor over my flesh.
I wasn’t certain how this next phase of my spiritual walk was going to look, but I’m excited about what I’m seeing thus far. I’m looking forward to more in depth time spent in His presence simply listening. I do a lot of talking, but this season my lips are sealed.