So how does it work? How do we walk out our faith and convictions and the truth that has been placed inside of us? What does it look like? Is it surrendering to the mission field because that's the Great Commission? Is it surrendering to being a pastor or teacher? How does the ordinary, everyday average Joe and Josephine walk the talk?
A passage was in my mind this morning "in view of God's mercy" so I looked it up and found it in Romans 12:1-2. In the NIV it goes like this: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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."
When I traveled over to Biblehub.com I found the literal Greek translation which reads like this:
I exhort therefore you brothers by the compassions of God to present the bodies of you a sacrifice living holy to God well-pleasing which is [the] divinely reasonable service of you. And not be conformed to the age this but be transformed by the renewing of the mind for to prove by you what [is] will of God the good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Here are a few various translations of this passage:
From The Message:
So here's what I want you 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.
From The New Living Translation:
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.
Among many interesting words that jump out at me, the one that has me smiling from ear to ear this morning is the Greek word for "[the] divinely reasonable."
It is the Greek word logikos which means reasonable, rational. Biblehub says "properly, logical because divinely reasonable, i.e. "what is logical to God" (logic working through the divine reasoning known through faith)....Logikos is constantly necessary in making acceptable offerings to the Lord - each of which is equally profound to eternity when done in faith ("divine persuasion"). These produce a "seamless" life in which every decision (action) can have profound, eternal meaning, even in earthly "setbacks" or suffering."
So, are you totally confused or a little intrigued?
Here's the punchline for me: God views your life, every opportunity, your career, your trade, your
J-O-B as a way to offer it for Him as a reflection of worship. You may think flipping hamburgers or collecting tolls or cleaning up after people is not a true spiritual act of worship. You may think a true spiritual act of worship is going to church, singing a hymn, raising hands, reading your Bible is the only way worship looks. But I think this "divinely reasonable" logical to God way of looking at your life as a sacrifice of worship is the way to go.
It's not logical that a mechanic, when He becomes a believer should pack up and go to Africa. I'm sure there are some who have been called to do so, but most aren't! It's not logical that God would pull you out of situations where He in fact has placed you to be light, to tread through the Amazon jungle.
Divine logic, and Lord forgive me for even trying to make sense of this big concept, works with logic.
You are called to be who you are, where you are.
You are called to live a life pleasing to God as a paper pusher, as a carpenter, as a burger flipper, as a CNA, as a stay at home mom, as a work outside the home mom, as a ditch digger, as a plumber, as a security guard. If you are any of those things, God has called you to give those duties to Him and for Him to use in his good and pleasing and perfect will.
Don't conform to those around you, be transformed by God living in you.
If you conform, God can't transform.
If you conform to the patterns of the world you won't know what God's will is for your life. But if you are transformed - metamorphoo: to change, transform, transfigure after being with - you will be able to test and approve what God's will is.
You won't be jumping from job to job, career to career, and looking for a "sign" from God that you are not in the right place because surely he has a better purpose for you, you will find contentment and joy being right where He placed you. Maybe someday His will is to take you out of that place you think is not the right fit, but maybe what He is trying to do in you is something that can only be done by you staying put.
Worship does have external actions like singing and raising hands and studying your Bible and praying. Those really "holy" looking signs of worship. But it seems to me that real worship is the kind that sees God in everything you are facing and accepting that this too is for Him.
God has you where you are today because that's where He wants you. He wants to transform you in and amongst your circumstances. He's there to keep you from being conformed to the world and instead to bring light to the hurting, most of all your hurting heart first.
Stay where you are. Live your spiritual act of worship right where you are. When it's time to move, God will pick you up and move you. Just hang on, metamorphosis is a complete change, like the cocoon holding the butterfly, beauty lies hidden within and has to go through the process to come out beautiful.
Praying for you, friends.