Saturday, September 27, 2014

Conformed...or transformed?

I'm sure St. Paul's intent is inspiration, but the opening language and lofty standards of Romans 12 are intimidating. Can I be totally devoted to and in sync with God?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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)

Great & Merciful God, 

With gratitude, I remind myself...
We are made in your image, (Genesis 1:27)
wonderfully made, (Psalm 139:14)
and the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Then, I must ask myself...
How badly have I distorted that image?
Have I been polluted by the world? (James 1:27) 

Lord Christ, I'm struggling to maintain dual citizenship - in the Kingdom and the culture. Harmony is unlikely. 

Am I numb to my compromises? 

Help me discern...
What is good,
what is pleasing to you,
dare I say, 
what is perfect. 

Holy Spirit, fine tune my conscience and adjust my consciousness. Stamp me with your image as a representative of the Kingdom. 

I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. 
(Psalm 40:8) 


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If, like me, your transformation and renewal come haltingly, this is encouraging...

Few of us are able to see our place in God's plan, but we trust that God needs us there. This is God's world, and God has brought us to this time and place, with our particular gifts, for God's purposes. I don't believe God has everything planned out. I do believe that God has an intent for our lives, purposes beyond our seeing. God will use us to bring justice, healing and blessing to the world. 

Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes 
from The Upper Room Disciplines, 2014