“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Paul herein entreats us to pursue a life of complete surrender, but he doesn’t leave it at that. He makes it clear that this is our reasonable service, the least we can do. I know, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when there’s so much we haven’t yet died to, so much we’ve still refused to lay down at the altar, so many habits and patterns of thought, so many carnal quirks and personal agendas.
And yet even when we go so far as to surrender our bodies, to commit to a holy life, we all too often remain attached to the ways of the world, to the cares thereof, and to our own culture. It is here where many of us are cut short in our call, where we are stunted in our growth, and hindered in our purpose. Now, God isn’t just talking about sin and its way of slithering into every nook and cranny where it might find a hold, though of that we must certainly beware.
No, today’s admonition is to take a closer look. For many of you,in this present season God intends for you to deal with all the ways in which you have been conformed to the world, its systems, its views, its norms, its habits, and its cultures. Not all of it is necessarily sinful. Many of these things do not seek to cause a moral or ethical failure, but rather to condition you to think like the natural man when God has called you to the Sonship of the Most High. For some of you, this is particularly true of the trials, apparent failures, setbacks, and pain you have experienced. You were tried and found faithful, but you’ve been poisoned by your pain. This is not a condemnation, but a recognition that restoration is needed, and that it will be accomplished before this season of your life is done, if you surrender all. For real.
Know this: in this season God is going to take you through a process of purification which will at last purge you of the pain and struggle which has caught hold of your mind. This doesn’t mean it won’t hurt any more, but it will mean that you are going to rise above it, move past it, break through it, and that you will get free from all the little yet potent ways in which life and the world have invaded your mind, and by which your mind was shaped. God is calling some of you to a fast, a solemn assembly of two: you and Him.
“So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.” (Mark 10:49-50)
Much like Bartimaeus, it is time we cry out for the King, and that we be ready to cast aside the cloak of who we have been until now. Maybe Bartimaeus was a good guy, but he was still blind. Maybe you’re not so bad, but God is calling for you to SEE in a way you never have before.
In Jesus’ name I speak peace, healing, forgiveness and restoration over your life. I command every unclean thing that has taken hold or seeks to take hold to loose its grip. By the mercies of God, I bid you to cast aside your cloak!