1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. — Romans 12:1-2
Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind
by Michael Volbeda
When we think of someone who practices the spiritual disciplines, we may often think of a person who sets aside the hectic busyness of life and spends time to focus on a specific activity such as prayer, meditation or solitude.
But the spiritual disciplines don’t only happen in the quiet moments we spend alone with God. They also happen in the midst of a day filled with meetings or errands. A Spirit-filled life is lived in moment-by-moment dependence on the Lord, regardless of whether that moment is noisy or quiet.
This is what Paul has in mind when he urges each of us to be a living sacrifice. The sacrifices in the Old Testament were laid before the Lord to be killed, but we are called to be a living sacrifice. We die to ourselves all day, every day, and are changed to become more like Christ as we live our lives for Him.
To live a daily life that is holy and pleasing to Him is itself a spiritual discipline. As we become more and more like Christ, we allow God to set us apart from the world in which we live. All around us there are people who have embraced the secular views and ungodly values of our present age, but we reject that to pursue the will of the Father. Our entire way of thinking is changed, and we see each day as a new chance to act out a lifestyle of worship to a holy God.
If we are honest with ourselves, this is a lot harder than it seems. It’s one thing to say you want to be transformed into the image of Christ, but it’s another thing to actually surrender yourself to God in order for that to happen.
It requires us to be ruthless when rooting out sin in our lives. It requires us to be constantly vigilant to carve out space in our day for prayer, Scripture reading, and reflection. But most of all, it requires us to acknowledge our need for God to do that work in us which we can’t do for ourselves. Only He can make us more like Christ.
- What is one area of your life that you have not completely given over to God? As an act of obedience, confess this to God and present it to Him as an act of worship and obedience.
- What is your level of awareness when it comes to the Holy Spirit working in your life and renewing your mind on a daily basis? We often don’t slow down enough to even think about it. Find ways to intentionally remind yourself to stop and listen to the leading of the Spirit throughout your day. Set an alarm on your cell phone or add it into your calendar so you don’t forget.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.