Photo by Tim Pokorny at flickr

Romans 12:1–3 ‘Do not conform 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.’ (v2)

We’re no longer who we were once we’ve encountered and accepted Christ. Change is evident, and many testify to differences others noticed about them after they converted to Christianity. Grace begins a work of sanctification within us, by which we grow to become more like Jesus (Matt. 5:48). However, this change is gradual. Like a stag loses its antlers each year, and the resultant new growth reveals its maturity, so we daily pursue God in prayer that we might also grow in understanding and Christian maturity. Through humble obedience we are invited to flourish in our formation in Christ, and the Spirit Himself heals our brokenness.

Of course, it is in the place of prayer that we give our full attention to God and here that much of His healing work takes place. Shut in with the Spirit, we grasp both our total need of God and perceive all clutter that distances us from Him. Here we have an opportunity to call on God’s help in demolishing all those barriers that obstruct us from reaching God’s intimacy. This transformation is preparing us for an eternity with God, and transcends the attractive, yet short-lived, delights, all that mortal life can offer us. They may appear to present immediate gratification, but leave nothing but a memory of a momentary pleasure. This is our daily battle, what Paul describes as ‘living sacrifice’. It will cost us, demand an act of the will and reveal the level of our devotion to God. What do we want?

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ezek. 36:22–32; 2 Cor. 5:11–21; 1 Pet. 1:13–25; 1 John 2:1–6.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Do you desire to become a living sacrifice for God? What immediate steps do you need to take?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to seek maturity in Christ and to cooperate with Your Spirit. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.