Living a life of sacrifice to God is not easy these days, as many people would rather offer God money, material things or even animals like the priests did in the Old Testament. My brother, my sister, even in the Old Testament, God made it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important for Him than whatever we can give Him (1 Samuel 15:22, Psalm 40:6, Amos 5:21-24). God wants us to offer ourselves to Him, daily laying aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us.
Today’s passage says: “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” (Romans 12:2). This tells us that God has good, pleasing and perfect plans for His children. But He cannot perform these plans unless we are transformed people with renewed minds who are living to honour and obey Him. Yes, because He wants only the best for us and because He gave His Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service. It that easy to do? Certainly not. That is why Apostle Paul warns us: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world” that tend to teach us to become selfish instead of being selfless when they do not corrupt out minds.
My friend, your refusal to conform to the values of this world must go deeper than just changing certain behaviours and customs: it must be firmly planted in your mind: “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think”. Indeed, it is possible to abandon or avoid most worldly behaviours and customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn or arrogant. However, it is only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our mind that we are truly transformed. And how, do we know we have been transformed from inside out? The answer is in the Word of God: “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). May God help each one of us to learn to letting the Spirit control our minds in a way to lead us to life and peace of Christ (Romans 8:6). Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.