Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
I’ve read this passage hundreds of times. I love this passage. But, I was convicted by it in a new way this week. Often, I’ve dissected the verses and just pulled out part instead of seeing it as a whole. I’d focus on the renewing of the mind or our spiritual act of worship. What I realized this week as I prepared for my Sunday morning Bible study was that the first part of the verses are very much connected to the end – determining God’s will. Simplified, it’s a cause and effect relationship.
It seems obvious to get that point. Live a life pleasing to God, don’t be influenced by the world, and we’ll be able to know and follow God’s will. But, in times of seeking God’s direction, I’ve often missed this very point.
Because I have a plethora of ideas brewing in my mind at any time, I struggle with direction sometimes. What should I do next? I can’t tackle them all at once, so where do I start? That’s where the prayer and seeking comes in. Yet, at times, I sense no real direction. So, am I just supposed to pick one and move forward? Or, am I supposed to wait until I have clarity?
Perhaps I’ve been my own stumbling block. In my efforts to seek His direction, I sometimes forget His primary desire for me – to live a life pleasing to Him. I forget to offer every part of myself to Him. I let worldly desires creep in. I become so focused on what I’m doing instead of focused on Him.
These verses served as a wake-up call for me this week. I have some tidying up to do in my daily life and thoughts. I’m thankful for the new insight, because now I can focus on what matters most: Him. As I do, I’m certain that my steps will come into focus at just the right time.
I pray that if you find yourself in a place of wondering what’s the next step in life that you’ll take the time to consider Romans 12:1-2 and see if there’s any work to be done. May God’s grace and mercy wash over you as you do and bring cleansing and clarity to the lens of life.