April 16th

Rejecting the Mold

1Therefore, 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. 2Do 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. Romans 12:1-2 NIV 

Do you ever feel like you are being pressed into a mold that you don’t want to be pressed into?  The world’s mold is made of its values, such as materialism, sexual performance, pride, ambition, lust, wealth and power.  These all cater to the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life (John 2:15-17).  They can have a strong pull on us.  If we’re not careful to keep our mind focused on God, we’re liable to fall into the mold press of the world and be conformed to its values.  The results will be that we are spiritually backsliding and unable to determine what God’s will for our life is. 

Paul offers the key to rejecting the world’s mold and being transformed:  offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God.  This basically means to offer our bodies to God for his purposes and to not allow them to be used for sinful purposes.  Romans 6:13 (NIV) says, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”  

Offering ourselves to God gives the Holy Spirit access to the control center of our lives so that he can do his transforming work in us.  He will transform us by renewing our minds.  Our cooperation with the Spirit along the way to transformation is essential.  We must be extremely careful what we allow our eyes to see and ears to hear.  Things like bad movies, bad TV and bad internet will quickly press us back into the world’s mold with their powerful and appealing multi-media messages.  If we can avoid those temptations, we’ll have a much easier journey to transformation.  Even more important, we’ll be able to know and prove God’s perfect will for our lives. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live in me and transform me by the renewing of my mind.  I confess that I have allowed the parts of my body to be used for evil in the following ways: _____________(list as appropriate).  I renounce the use of my body in those ways and I commit myself to your purposes, O God.  Please guide me with your Holy Spirit in making Godly decisions each day.  Please convict me of any sin before I commit it, so that I may turn away from it.  Please strengthen me to reject the mold of the world’s values and embrace your values.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”