Announcement: the Rock will be opening a satellite campus soon in north Carlsbad, to include live worship and a recorded message. The Rock has a goal to open church campuses like this in many locations, following with New York. If you are interested in helping with the New York plant, call the church office and speak with Pastor Mickey Stonier.
Have you ever been caught in a lie, and once caught, you try to revise your story to make it appear true? The lies of the past can trip you up, confusing you and causing you to lie even more. However, if you simply tell the truth all the time, you don't have to remember what you said in the past, because you are not worried about your stories matching up!
It is the same way with knowing God's will. If we live foul lives, it is going to be very difficult to hear God's will for us, let alone walk in His will. But if we simply seek God, His will shall be plain to us. If we surrender ourselves completely to Him and follow Him, He will transform us into His will. We begin to think and feel as He does! Most of us are very aware of things that we know are not God's will; if we just begin by eliminating those things, we're halfway there.
In the beginning chapters of Romans, Paul writes about being saved only by faith. He reminds us that we are all sinners. We naturally seek our own way, not God's. The penalty of sin is death, yet while we were in this state of opposition toward God, Jesus extended a hand to us. He laid down His life so that we could be saved.
Chapter 12 begins with the transitional word "therefore," bringing the theoretical concepts of previous chapters into practical application:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2
1. Present your bodies a living sacrifice. Roman 6:13,1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Back in the days of the tabernacle, the brazen altar was a place where God's people brought animals as a sacrifice to the Lord in atonement for their sin. The animals would be burned, consumed by holy fire unto death. So it is now that we should be sacrifices to God, consumed by the Holy Spirit unto abundant life.
God has given you power over your body, therefore, you can make decisions to honor God with what you do. You can be a listening ear, give an encouraging word, and love people who hate you. Here are some examples of submitting your body to Christ:
- Eyes - Job 31:1
Keep your eyes pure. Are you looking at anything that's causing you to think or feel something that would be sinful to do? Look elsewhere! Remove yourself from that sight.
- Hands - 1 Timothy 2:8
Lift holy hands to the Lord.
- Legs - Hebrews 12:1
Do not run after desires of the flesh.
- Mind - Philippians 4:6-8
Are you worried about things? Do you argue with others in your mind? God created your brain, the most awesome machine in the world. Think on Him and use it for His glory!
- Mouth - Ephesians 4:29
Say only things that are edifying, and close it when He tells you to!
- Heart - Ezekiel 11:19
Protect your heart, and only let into your heart what is glorifying. (Proverbs 4:23) The moth speaks from the overflow of the heart. If you say one hateful thing, you have a whole lot more piled up inside. (Luke 6:45)
2. Provide yourself as a holy and acceptable sacrifice to God.
Holy: Set aside for a singular service
Acceptable: Usable and clean (Think of donating items to the thrift store. You wouldn't donate a vacuum cleaner with no suction!)
When the Israelites made animal sacrifices to God, they were instructed to use a yearling lamb, clean and unblemished, not the 10-year-old lamb with a broken leg. A sacrifice to God should be something that is a sacrifice to us as well, not something that we'll never miss.
You are called to set aside your body for God. It's not your body-it belongs to God. He designed it. He knows its purposes, and He knows what's best for you. Give God the very best you have to offer in quality, effort and dedication.
"Be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16-17
Be a sacrifice without blemish. Numbers 19:2-3, Leviticus 22:21-25.
3. Do not conform, but be transformed.
Conformation - the work of shaping ourselves from the outside in by fitting into the mold of the world
Stop trying to fit in when God made you to stand out! He made you unique and special. Give yourself to Him and let Him mold you into the person He created you to be. You are not an accident (no matter what your parents say)-you're a masterpiece of God!
Stop trying to look like the world, be accepted by the world and act like the world. You are in the world, but not of the world.
Transformation - metamorphoo - God's work of changing us from the inside out by the supernatural work of the Holy Sprit (John 14:15-18)
- His will is good, acceptable, and perfect
- You can "prove" His will. You will be able to verify, acknowledge, and confirm God's will.