Romans: 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
I don’t normally study the Message paraphrase but this speaks these verses exactly as I want you to hear them. I encourage you to go back and read them again, out loud, remembering this word is for you. It is not just words on a page but God’s living breathing Word that can change your life.
Take your everyday life & Place it before God as an offering take – lay hold of something with one’s hands, place – put in a particular position. These are both verbs, they are action words. It does not say just go through your day and let whatever comes at you roll over you. It takes intentional actions to submit our life and all the things in it to God daily.
Embracing what God does for you, embrace – accept or support something willingly or enthusiastically. Are you enthusiastic about the fact that the God of the universe became fully human in the form of a baby to have the hardest mission ever known, saving the souls of mankind, and yet still be willing to lay down His life for us. Still His mission was not complete until He rose again so that we can have eternal life!!! Let us all pray to keep the freshness of this truth in our hearts. Embracing is our worship to Him.
Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Fix – direct one’s eyes, attention or mind steadily or unwaveringly toward. This is another deliberate discipline that we need to practice. In the NIV version of verse 2 this says, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ As Christians we have to option for God to renew our minds and the way we think through His word and prayer. I love what Steven Furtick says in Crash the Chatterbox, “When your perspective is preloaded with the Word of God, lies lose their power over your life.”
Readily recognize – Quickly respond… Knowing Him and His will are the only ways this is accomplished. Steven Furtick uses the term chatterbox essentially to describe all the other voices that come at us that aren’t God. These two statements in Pastor Furtick’s book have changed my paradigm drastically. ‘You locate the lies of the chatterbox at the intersection of what is written and who you are.’ ‘It is not only that you know the Word of God but who you are in relation to that word.’ So we take what is true, what God says about us, (readily recognize) and find the lies, replace them with God’s truth and overcome them. (quickly respond).
It’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. misinterpret – to understand something incorrectly. In other words, ‘Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought’ (NIV) This was the impetus for writing this blog. I was praying for people who seem to have an ongoing dissatisfaction with life and it overflows from their heart to their families, their work, their churches and creates a sphere of negativity that invades these places. I can speak this because I have been there but I have been letting God change me from the inside out, trying to stay humble in the midst of a selfish society. It is difficult, I know, I fight it everyday but we are so easily misled by ourselves when we are not submitted to God. The tongue is a fire and is quickly unleashed and when we have places in us that need healing it doesn’t necessarily benefit others around us to set it free.
So the thought came to me Stop, Grow and Heal. You know like the slogan Stop, Drop and Roll if ever by chance you would catch on fire. Well I challenge you when you recognize these places that are causing you to sin through your words, gossip or actions to let the fire of Jesus get on you and Stop, Grow and Heal. I sat and let the fact that God’s truth is the truth for me in relation to who He says I am sink deep into my spirit the other day. Something changed, something I can’t really put into words yet and my perspective is different. I am His child, totally loved, and actually liked!
There is nothing too hard for Him to heal and change. NOTHING! Today in the YouVersion devotional my husband and I are reading it said, “Small thinking results from a lack of exposure to the Word and a lack of ownership of the Word. Small thinking limits who we become and what we are able to accomplish in the Lord.” She went on to say the enemy knows this and constantly fills our mind with thoughts contrary to the Word. We let lies become our truth because we don’t counter them with the Word of God. I know this is a lot, apparently I need to write more to spread my thoughts out haha but I think the last sentence of Romans 12:3 in the Message ends this well, “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.” AMEN
Crash the Chatterbox – Steven Furtick
Youversion – Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment – Cheri Strange