If you have spent any amount of time in church and churchy things, you have come to know (or at least think that you know) a boat-load of catch verses… John 3:16, blah, blah, blah. Even to the point that when you see one of these verses embroidered on a pillow, on a cheesy bumper sticker, or mentioned in a sermon or bible study, your brain plays the been-there-done-that card and you tune out… by ‘you’ I mean me. God forgive me for ever thinking that I’ve mastered so much as one sentence of your word!
With that preface, this glorious Saturday morning has me wrestling with Romans 12. I say wrestling because it is a section of scripture that I have heard and read many times yet I feel stuck here to day… like God is saying, “Look again, there is more to it”.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (NLT)
What am I missing? It seems pretty straight forward… Then a place in that last line jumps out at me… “you will learn to know”… I really needed to hear that today! I need constant reminding that I am a work in process; learning is a process… transforming is a process… and if I don’t spend time with God on a daily basis, I’m holding up the process! This is one of those areas where I have cautioned those who have expressed an interest in working at a church or in some form of vocational ministry; Don’t think for a minute that working at a church will vault you to the front of the spiritual line or give you some sort of golden ticket into heaven… for me, it’s been more difficult to make time for God because I’m often fooled into thinking, “I’m at the church 6 days a week; I’ve got this all together!” The truth is, if you came to my house 6 days a week but never talked to me, we wouldn’t have much of a relationship.
I want to know God… really KNOW God… but I need to learn to know God. This is where I love that smarter people than me have taken the time to cross reference the scriptures so I can learn more… In Ephesians 4:23-24 (Amplified Bible) it says:
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Where are you in the process?