What Christian is not frustrated in trying to live a godly life? Why is it so hard? For starters, we are flawed. We enter the world dripping wet with a sin nature and from the very outset need God’s grace. A baby’s temper tantrum was not learned behavior it was already ingrained. We grow up enamored with the world’s offerings—what man is not drawn to lust after a sensual woman or woman drawn to the need for security? We are stubborn, preferring to do what we want. It is completely counter-culture to pursue holiness. There is nothing easy about achieving purity and we are quickly frustrated by adversity, failure, and the clever attacks of Satan who will do all he can to disrupt us from fellowship with God.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 12 gives us a beautiful blueprint from God in how we are to live up to His desire. This chapter emphatically teaches that God expects our spiritual worship which He defines by our becoming living sacrifices—holy and pleasing to Him (vs. 1). So how do we accomplish this? The following are seven key areas that stimulated my mind as I meditated on Paul’s advice.
I. Be Holy: Don’t be conformed to the world; detest evil; do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil by good; do not repay evil with evil; cling to what is good
II. Renew Your Mind: Discern what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God; think sensibly in proportion to the faith God gives you; joyful in hope; patient in affliction; rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep
III. Be Humble: Have a sober estimate of self; do not be proud; associate with the humble; do not be wise in your own estimation; don’t avenge yourselves
IV. Serve the Lord: Use the gifts God gave you according to His grace; be fervent; be diligent; persistent in prayer
V. Love Others: Without hypocrisy; show family affection with brotherly love; outdo one another in showing honor; bless those who persecute you; do not curse;
VI. Be Generous: Share with the saints in their need; pursue hospitality; if your enemy is hungry or thirsty give him something to eat or drink
VII. Be Unified: Be in agreement with one another; do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes; live at peace with everyone
Why does God want our spiritual worship? He made us to fellowship with us. Jesus reveals this when He prayed, “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me” (17:21). God’s immeasurable love sent Jesus not only to rescue us from our sin but also to show what it means to have fellowship with Him, our Father. The beauty of spiritual worship is that it pleases God, blesses us, and furthers the Lord’s work in reaching more people with His love as they see our transformation.
Aside from His instructions through Paul, what does God do to help us become spiritual worshipers? First and foremost, He gave us Jesus, the perfect model of spiritual worship. Before He died, Jesus prayed, “I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do” (John 17:4). Notice He followed His Father’s plan and expected the same of those who followed Him (see Luke 9:23). For His followers He prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth” (17:17). Second, God sent His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) to be our Counselor to guide us in the truth (John 16:13); and to empower us (Acts 2:4,4:8,6:10,8:39,9:31,11:28,13:4,16:6,20:28). God never asks us to do what He will not equip us to perform—the key is our willingness to obey and pursue Him! Third, God uses us to encourage each other to be spiritual worshippers (Acts 2:46,47).
There is no greater pursuit in life than to pursue God—to bless Him through our spiritual worship and to be blessed by Him forever!
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)