Romans 12: 1-2 MSG 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.
We’re going to break this scripture down line by line, so if possible have the text in front of you so you can follow along. “Take your everyday, ordinary life …” Today is probably an ordinary day for you. It’s Tuesday. Just a normal work day. Same old routine. But today we’re going to intentionally live this day as an OFFERING to God. How we live this day is our gift in return to the one who gave it to us. I always imagined God as one of those “impossible to buy for” fellas. He kinda already has everything. And what could I possibly give him that he doesn’t already have or just create himself. And today’s scripture so clearly points it out. HOW I LIVE THIS ORDINARY TUESDAY – How I eat, how I go to work, how I walk around, all of this can be my GIFT TO GOD TODAY. And it can be yours too.
Let’s continue breaking down this scripture piece by piece.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. What has God done for you today? Really, what has he done? He has given you a day of life. Now in return what we should do with this day is embrace it. That means hold it close with affection. Don’t let this day just pass you by. Grab it. Seize the day. Carpe diem my friend. How about a hearty “I LOVE THIS DAY OF LIFE GOD … oh, it’s a good one.” It’s a great day to go to work, to show up, to eat well, to breathe, to live.
Then this scripture says “don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” You likely know a different translation “do not conform to the patterns of this world.”
And here’s where our challenge comes in for the day. What are the patterns of this world? They’ve certainly changed over the generations, but without a doubt the pattern of today’s world is to be so constantly connected that in truth you’re totally DISCONNECTED. Do you too feel the pull of social media? Here’s a test – how hard is it for you to sit and wait for an appointment, or wait for food to be delivered, or put your makeup on, or ride in a car WITHOUT being on your phone? Darn near impossible? And it’s so sad. But it’s oh so normal. It’s just normal. It is the pattern of the world today. And unfortunately, it’s become our pattern and we have done exactly what this scripture warns us about – we have fit into the pattern of the world without even thinking.
I wonder how much of our day is spent not even thinking? We’re not being intentional. We’re just living out our habits of being constantly fed noise, nonsense and distractions and we claim our lives are “busy.” Wow – we’re busy. Are we really busy if we’re watching 2 hours of news every day? Are we really busy if we have time for trash tv? Are we really busy if we’re reading hundreds of status updates and viewing countless photos … many from people we don’t even know.
How much of our lives are we exchanging for watching others live their lives?
No doubt, it is the pattern of today’s world … and we shouldn’t conform to it, but instead we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind. And this is what we are seeking today. Lord, as we commit to living this day as an offering to you, as we embrace all you have done for us and resist the patterns of the world we live in, we will be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds.
How do you renew your mind? You do something different. You break out of the patterns of your normal routine. You breathe in life deeper. You live more intentionally. You replace the habit of picking up that cell phone, or scrolling through your newsfeed while you’re supposed to be working, or turning on the TV, with something that will benefit your mind.
Take a walk – in silence. Read a positive book. Make eye contact and TALK to someone. Let your mind be renewed today, and then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.
Ahhhh, don’t miss that – here’s your answer. Have you been searching for God’s will in something specific? Have you been saying “God, what am I supposed to do – show me – talk to me – I’m stuck here God, I don’t know what to do.” Well maybe we haven’t been hearing from God – maybe we’re lost, confused, frustrated and without direction because we’ve just been living too much like the rest of the world. We’re so connected that we’re disconnected. And today as we intentionally renew our minds, God’s will and ways will become more clear to us. Of course they will. We’ve just been too busy – living in a noisy world to hear him.