God gives us help and guidance through His Word. In his letter to the congregations in Rome the Apostle Paul serves as a major conduit of that guidance when he writes, “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” (Romans 12:1).
The Apostle Paul here is giving us direction on how to be a part of a spiritual body, not a physical organization. In so many physical organizations you fill out a form, have your picture taken, receive a card with a number on it and you’re a card-carrying member of “Organization X”. That is definitely not what God’s servant is talking about!
The Apostle Paul is discussing how to be a part of a spiritual organism, a spiritual body – the body of Jesus Christ. This is something that all of us need to reflect on regularly.
Unfortunately, as we look around, we see that the Body of Christ, the spiritual body, is still scattered. We simply haven’t gotten it right. The Church, in one sense, is still in a disorganized state. This is not right, and it is not being blessed.
What we need to be doing is to be coming into a reconciled state with God the Father, so we can be blessed. So He can, in whatever way He chooses, bless His Church as a whole. It is good that we remind ourselves of this from time to time.
Paul is trying to show us here, how to get ourselves squared away. He’s trying to show us what we need to be doing to get it right.
Further he writes, “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 12:2).
That’s something we all want to know, isn’t it? We all want to know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Well, the answer is contained within God’s Word. We need to be reading and diligently studying God’s word. As we study the Bible and continually ask God’s guidance, He gives us, through the inner workings of His Holy Spirit, the answers we need. And those answers will be the same for all… and different for everyone. God will show us how to apply the principles of life contained within His Word to our individual lives. But we must also remember that it is a process – one that takes time (approximately a lifetime). Anything that we do that is worthwhile takes time, that is a fact of life and doubly so for our spiritual lives.
How are we doing with that “be not conformed to this world” part of that verse? The world is very attractive and Satan has designed it that way. God encourages us to come out of the world in a spiritual sense (Revelation 18:4). We live in the world physically, but on the spiritual plane we have to be different – different than the attitudes of greed and animosity we see all around us. (Don’t get me wrong, there are good and honest people too – but they are becoming ever more “few and far between”.)
We must allow God to transform us through “the renewing of your (our) mind(s)” (Romans 12:2). He will help us with that, but we must personally see the necessity. He will guide us, but we must have the desire to follow. He will strengthen us and we must allow Him to do so through the study of His Word, prayer and fasting.
Going God’s way is not for the faint of heart! (In reality we are all, in one way or another, faint of heart.) We need to have courage and desire and show clear submission to God’s will. If we will allow God to work with us, He will bring forth those basic characteristics within us. Then we will no longer be faint. With God’s help, we can be strong members of His spiritual Body.