Monday, April 26, 2010

R12: Are you getting God's best?

Reposted from last week to get back on a M-F schedule...

The first part of Romans 12 focused on Surrender and the first relationship is with God. The second part of Romans 12 focuses on Separate and our relationship with the World:

"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." (Romans 12:2)

My eyes were opened reading Wild At Heart when it was pointed out that we have three enemies. Often we focus all of our attention on Satan and use his schemes to excuse our own sinful nature. But the third that is often neglected, is the world, but they all go hand in hand. Romans 12 calls our attention to fight two of the three. Fight our sinful natures, transforming our minds, by resisting the temptations of the world.

Sounds easy, right? It is the world that distracts us and keeps us from "fix[ing] our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:2) I think of the scene in the Matrix with the woman in the red dress. A pretty good speech for evangelism. But also a good example of the world as our enemy. The truth is, the values, temptations, and "patterns" of this world are contrary to the will of God. We desire to know God's will, but neglect that the world keeps us from fully experiencing it. So Paul challenges us to "test and approve" it which we cannot do so long as we continue to be tied in any way to this world.

What ties us to this world? Family, friendships, wealth, fame? Lately the Church has established roots deeply into the realm of politics- governing in this world. Sadly this has paralyzed many. Regardless of the nobility of their goals, they will forever be unable to "test and approve God's will" because of this tie to the world.

So the question is, are you getting God's best, his good, pleasing and perfect will? If not, what is tying you to this world?

Think: Read Romans 12:2 over slowly, with special emphasis on the last nineteen words.
Reflect: What comes to mind when you think about doing God's will? Does your mind gravitate to words like difficult, painful, distasteful, or do you find his will to be good, pleasing and perfect? Why?
Understand: How and where have you struggled the most in your journey with Christ? What habits, sins, or setbacks seem to thwart your relationship with Christ?
Surrender: Ask God to begin opening your eyes and your heart to what His good and pleasing will is for your life.
Take Action: Watch How to Get God's Best for Your Life at the R12 online resources.
Motivation: Write out this prayer, or a personalized version, on a 3x5: Father, help me not to let this world squeeze me into its mold, but transform me from the inside out as I meditate and apply Your Word to my life.
Encourage someone: Write a note to someone who knows Christ, but is not walking with Him. Let them know you care and are praying for them today.

Today continues our "virtual small group" covering the book Living On The Edge. For how this group is going to work, read this entry. For an introduction with disclaimers, click here. For some numbers from Barna to motivate you to continue reading, go here. For the R12 videos, click the R12 button on the sidebar to the right. Finally, as we move forward through the book you can always catch up by clicking the R12 label at the end of each post.

No comments: