December 9, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Let’s go over Romans 12:1-3 again:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you pre-
sent your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be trans-
formed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace
given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more
highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to
everyone a measure of faith.
This Scripture shows us how we are to be Overcoming The Head Start of the world in our lives as it tries to conform you, or “… squeeze you into its own mold…” (Romans 12:2 – The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips).
We have covered three points from Romans 12:2:
• “…present…our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is…our reasonable service.” – reasonable because of what God has done for us (covered by Paul in the first 11 chapters of Romans).
• “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed….” – the positive and the negative of what we are to do.
• “…by the renewing of your mind….” It is the Word of God that renews our minds! So we must get into our Bible, and stay in it!
The next part of verse two tells us that we are to “…prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Now there are two ways to go about this – a positive way and a negative way! The will of God will be done! The question is, will we cooperate with His will, or fight it? I refer to a blog I wrote April 29, 2013 called The Most Important Prayer A Christian Can Pray. In it, I said this:
We want what we want! Never mind what God wants! This selfishness lies at
the root of all sin! And dying to one’s self is sincerely praying what Jesus cried
out to the Father in the garden, “…nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.”
“It doesn’t matter what I want, Lord. What do You want? Tell me and I will do
The negative way is saying, “Never mind what God wants! This is what I want!” This way invites pain and suffering into our lives, because – with or without our cooperation, His will will be done!
Saul of Tarsus found this out the hard way. He zealously tried to stamp out anything that smacked of Jesus Christ (see Acts 9:1, 2). But in Acts 9:3 through 5, Jesus literally knocked him to the ground! And the Lord told Saul, “…why are you persecuting Me? …It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” A goad was a sharp-pointed stick which was used to get a stubborn animal (ox, donkey, etc.) moving. Can you imagine the pain – the damage to yourself – caused by kicking against a sharp-pointed stick?! Since God will not be thwarted in His purpose, we cause ourselves trouble and pain when we fight against His will!
But there is a positive way. It is written in Psalm 37:4 and 5: “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” If I align myself to Him and His revealed will, then His will becomes my delight – what I want to do! And guess what? It is no problem at all to do something we take delight in and want to do anyway!
So Paul tells us in verse 2 or our Scripture to “…prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Prove: the Greek word means to test or by implication, approve. It is translated also as allow, discern, and examine. What the apostle is saying is that we are to discern God’s will by studying the Scriptures, and align our will up with His!
And we will find that His will is to “…not be conformed to this world, but [to] be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” We will also find practical ways to accomplish this, such as:
• Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you….”
• Luke 18:1 (Jubilee Bible) – “…it behooves us always to pray and not faint….”
• II Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers….”
• Philippians 4:8 – “…whatever things are true, whatever things noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
• II Timothy 2:15 (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible) – “Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
• Hebrews 10:25 – “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching.”
So walk close to the Lord, daily learning more of His will through His Word. Give yourself to Him and He will give you back your life full and running over! (See John 10:10).