Monday, July 21, 2008

Bible Brainwashing

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:1-2 – ESV)

Let’s look at this process backwards and forwards. You are transformed by the renewing of your mind, which starts by presenting yourself as a living sacrifice, which is allowing your mind to worship God. This would be done by reading, studying, praying, pondering, meditating on, and sharing God’s Word.

You present yourself; you yield yourself up as a living sacrifice, set apart for God’s work, which is to worship Him with your mind. As you do this you are renewed, and this renewal produces a transformation. This transformation allows you to discern what God’s will is. It is quite obvious actually. When you know God’s Word you know God’s will. And if God’s Word is the controlling influence in your life, and you have yielded your body as a living sacrifice, your biblically informed and saturated mind (read: heart) will control your body (read: actions) and you will indeed be living out God’s will for your life. You will pass the tests; you will “prove” what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

In the most basic sense, the body only does what the mind tells it to. I am not talking about automatic or involuntary actions like breathing and such. I am saying that you don’t pick up that bottle and drink it unless you thought about it first! Our mind controls the conscious actions of our bodies. Our arms and legs do what our mind tells them to do. It is like when you want something off of the shelf, and you are thinking that, so you grab it. Your mind dictated to your body. The way to get your body under control is to yield your mind to God. So to present yourselves as a living sacrifice you must yield your members as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13 is in the present tense) and this means you must yield your mind first (Romans 6:11 – consider, ponder, meditate on, think about it, reckon it as so). When we try and yield our bodies first we have things out of order.

You learn to discern. What we need is not a new skill or a new technique, but a new heart, and it starts by yielding your mind to God, continually. We must not neglect this, but nourish it. We must be filled with the Spirit of God by being filled with the Word of God. Then we will become that living sacrifice, we will be dead to self, and alive to God.

It is about obedience from the heart, and this starts with the head (same thing really). It isn’t about yielding like let go and let God (passivity only), or yielding meaning “let anything that feels right take me over as long as they say the name of Jesus” mysticism. It is making the decision to let God’s grace fill your mind and it is found in His Word. This is all predicated on “the mercies of God”, His forgiveness of our sins, it is not simply a moral command. We hear a lot of challenges for us to do more and do better – but without hearing about the forgiveness of sins. However, any real growth must be based in grace, not grit.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


MrsEvenSo... said...

Amen! Hallelujah! Glory to God!

Even So... said...

Got soap?

JoyfullyHis said...

That makes a whole lotta sense. Nothing we Do is involuntary; somewhere in there we've thought about it and made a decision. Hmmmm...

JoyfullyHis said...

I like the picture too, by the way. hahahahaha. It took me a minute, but I got it. :D