Yesterday’s post was about one of the “Life Lessons” You taught me during my recent birthday: There are always Choices and Consequences.
Today’s post is about the particular Scripture You used as a loving “2 x 4” to help get Your point across. 🙂
Why this Scripture, Lord? Is it because it speaks to the heart of why I would (should?) want my choices to be pleasing to You?
“Therefore, I urge you… in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
You blessed me when You whispered, “Meditate on these words.” It’s amazing how much richer they became when I stopped to reflect…
“In view of God’s mercy…” How do I get “in view of” Your mercy, Lord? By “seeing” it in my mind’s eye. Recalling it. Making it top of mind. Turning my focus onto it. Becoming conscious of it in the moment.
“God’s mercy…” What is Your mercy to me, Lord? Paying the price for my sins — even the ones I confess to You right now. Declaring me “Not Guilty.” Not because I was innocent, but because You purposed to not hold my guilt against me… and You paid my penalty for me. You chose to make the way of Life and Freedom available to me… so I could choose to receive it, by receiving You.
“… offer…” A simple, yet deeply profound word. To freely give. Gratefully, not grudgingly. Nothing held back. Completely surrendering to You.
“… your bodies…” What does this include, Lord? All of me. My physical body and the “me” inside — my thoughts, beliefs, values, desires, dreams, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, disappointments, failures. Whatever I put into my body. How I use my body. What I do to my body… and all of my time, talent and treasure.
“…as living sacrifices…” How do I become a living sacrifice to You, Lord? Living for Your purposes, not my pleasure. Saying “yes” to You and all that You ask / desire / are. Saying “no” to anything (or anyone) seeking to draw me away from all that You ask / desire / are. Doing the right thing (from Your perspective)… even when it’s the hard thing.
“… holy and pleasing to God…” What would fit into these measures, Lord? Whatever gives You glory rather than what steals it for myself. Whatever You desire of me and for me. Whatever brings out the fruit of Your Spirit in me — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Living in Your Holy Spirit’s desires, not the desires of my flesh. Setting my mind/heart on righteousness. Keeping in step with You. Striving toward greater intimacy with You. Valuing all You hold dear. Whatever is right in Your eyes.
“… your true and proper worship.” Herein lies the key. I am made to worship. I am always worshipping. Whatever I choose in a given moment is a reflection of what (or who) I am worshipping in that moment. My true and proper worship is focused on You alone — not on my flesh, the world or whatever counterfeit the devil puts in front of me. To worship You properly is to worship in spirit and truth… not my flesh and the enemy’s lies.
Choices and Consequences. You are always able, Lord, to help me choose well… if I am willing. So this is my prayer tonight:
“Oh, Lord Jesus… Please take the desire for any self-gratification, disobedience and/or lawlessness out of me. Help me exercise Your victory over temptation so it becomes my own.”
And thank You for the confidence I can have about Your answers to this prayer!
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
Resting in Your Grace,