I am reading the book “ Living On the Edge”, Dare to experience true spirituality. It is a bible study based on
1Brothers and sisters, because of God’s compassion toward us, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.2Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
I have loved this verse for years and have tried to follow it, most of the time failing. But I keep trying and that’s what is important. Try, try, and try again. Never give up. In this study the author, Chip Ingram, asks the question, “ could your mental diet be killing your soul?” That’s a loaded question and I would much rather it be a loaded baked potato! He says that some food “tastes great, but it might kill you.” High calories and high fat sure taste good but “we are what we eat.” This is so true!
The same is true of our spiritual life. In my case I am a lover of FB and blogging and the internet. I spend hours on my computer everyday. This time takes me away from God. Sure, I am using these things to talk about God, share scripture and meet people, but what God really wants from me is FACE TIME. He wants a real relationship built on faith, trust, love and hope in HIM and not in the world. I can ( and I do ) fool myself by saying that I am using these tools as ministry and to a degree that is true. But on a higher level it is a cop out and a time sucker. I am a social person and when you take my people away, I am like a spider with no web! This isn’t how God wants me to be. He wants to BE my only activity! I should be clamoring after Him, not these other things.
So, the study suggested doing a media fast. I don’t like the term fast because when we fast we are abstaining from food and or water. So I will call it a media diet. Yesterday I unplugged from FB, email and internet. I spent the day doing things alone, but I wasn’t really alone. God was wooing me toward Him. When I turned it all off I felt a release of sorts. It’s like giving up an addiction and relying on God. Which is what He wants.
A mind renewal, or better yet a mind meld like Bones and Dr. Spock off of Star Trek!
I am to mold my mind to Gods!
It’s like this, and it’s actually pretty simple when you lay it out ( DOING it is the hard part!) : What I do with my body, legs, hands, feet, mind, heart, mouth, ears and eyes IS my worship to God. When I dedicate all of these things to God I am worshipping God. So, when I choose to turn off the tv and read my bible study- that is an act of worship. When I turn off FB and invite a friend over for a real cup of coffee and conversation-that is an act of worship. When I refuse to look upon the ungodly things in life-that is an act of worship. When I get out of my world and into the nursing home to visit folks -that’s an act of worship. When I leave a group of friends to go pray with a hurting friend and tell them I love them- that’s an act of worship. When I eat lunch with a friend and we have devotions instead of gossiping about people at work – that’s an act of worship. Wherever I place GOD first is an act of worship.
This is how we do it.
9Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.
Doing all of these things requires great devotion to God. When we love God with all of our heart, mind, body and soul we will hate evil. But we can’t do that until we we can love God with our ALL. It’s easy to hold onto the good things but harder to let go of the bad things. The bad things tempt us to do evil. Evil feels good when we are doing it but it has great repercussions later on. Ask me, I know all about it. I’m not perfect and I don’t know anyone who is. If you think you are, then lucky you!
We should excel in showing respect for one another. Respect. What is it? It means to honor one another. Consideration. We are to use our energy to serve God. Our hands, feet, words, deeds, thoughts, actions and reactions. Patience is not a strong point for most people but if you pray for it, God will surely put you through something that will grow it in you. He has me. He grows it, prunes it, grows it and prunes it. It is a process! While we are doing all of these things we are to pray all the time. Do we? I don’t. I could pray more, share more and be more hospitable!
It’s a tall order to fill when you look at all of these individually and collectively. THIS is why renewing our minds is so important! To focus on God and not the world because the world doesn’t want us doing any of these things and when our energies are focused on worldly things then we get worldly results. So, we have to decide what it is we want and what God is asking of us. Is it obedience? If it is, we can only do it with His help. He longs to renew us!
9How can a young person keep his life pure?
He can do it by holding on to your word.
10I wholeheartedly searched for you.
Do not let me wander away from your commandments.
11I have treasured your promise in my heart
so that I may not sin against you.
So let me encourage you tonight to hold onto God’s Word as tightly as you know how. I often go to sleep clutching my bible. It is like a teddy bear to me. It brings me much comfort and secretly I am hoping that the words written on the pages will spill out and land on my heart, while I am asleep, forever embellished over the broken pieces covering them with wisdom, knowledge and love. But it takes more that that- it takes obedience,work, dedication, commitment and prayer.
So, if you want to really live for God, change the way you think about things and get to know Jesus!