The Bible is not a book of quick answers. It takes time to develop in the things of God and we should never approach our time in the Word of God with a goal of just finding something to share with other people. Our primary goal for spending time meditating in the Bible is to be washed by the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26). If we approach the Word in this manner God will touch our lives and we will have something to share. The key is spending time in the Word submitting to the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry to allow Him to bring revelation and understanding to our spirits. It seems that a large part of the modern Church has lost touch with the concept of meditating in the Word as society has moved towards an attitude of instant gratification. Revelation comes a piece at a time and takes committed daily time in prayer. There is no instant gratification to the things of the Spirit and if we will give ourselves to careful and considerate time with the Word of God, we will position ourselves to develop in the deeper things of God. It is unfortunate, but the overabundance of sermons that are available in one sense have become a detriment because the ease of access contributes to societies desire for an instant answer. We listen to one minister and then immediately switch over to another without taking the time to really meditate on what the message said.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
Paul wrote his letter to Rome for the entire Church. He was not just addressing ministers so he was addressing the entire church when he encouraged them to “present” their “bodies a living sacrifice”. This applied to the entire church in Rome and so why would it not apply to the entire Church? We discussed the process of becoming living sacrifices in the last chapter and said it is the first step to be taken on the journey to discovering the plan of God for our lives. In this chapter we will discuss our second step which we see in Romans 12:2 referred to as the “renewing of “our “mind”. We will not succeed in our quest to discover the plan of God if we do not start with these first two stems. It is not enough to just become a living sacrifice because we will not be able to keep our flesh on the altar if we do not allow our minds to become renewed by the Word of God. Paul refers to this process as “the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). If we are going to successfully discover and pursue the plan of God, we will have to have a foundation of truth built into our spirits. This will enable us to judge our beliefs and the things we experience in our journey through life correctly. Our society gravitates towards instant gratification and the idea of slowing down to spend time studying the Bible and meditating on what we are reading is a foreign concept to many. Satan is able to take advantage of us when we are not grounded in the Word and so we must find a balance between presenting ourselves as living sacrifices and spending the time required to build our foundation in the Word of God. Jesus told us that He would not leave us “comfortless” (John 14:18). He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within our Spirit and the Holy Spirit will guide us step by step into revelation knowledge if we will take the time to turn to Him and allow Him to teach us.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Paul tells us to not be “conformed to this world”. The word conform could also be translated “poured into a mold” or to “be or become similar in form, nature, or character”. There is tremendous pressure being applied by society to allow ourselves to become just like everyone else and our flesh and Satan will both fight against any decision to change course and begin moving towards the plan of God. Examples abound of how society feeds our self-nature. We seem to be bombarded by perversion and ungodliness continuously. Think about the pop-up ads when we open an Internet browser, ads playing on television, and billboards we pass on the road are just some examples. Television shows are filled with ungodliness and death. Christians make excuses for using them, but the bottom line is that we are called to be separate from the world.
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