Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My Best=His Best

It is quite easy for us to get 'drug down into' the culture of our day. The catty comments from opposing candidates catch our attention on the airwaves. The promise of this remedy providing instant this or that lures us into the latest of fads that only rob us of our hard-earned money and deliver none of the desired results. Easily swayed, we become 'prey' to these influencing factors. Wouldn't it be much more rewarding to be influenced with the type of things that actually pick us up instead of dragging us down? God's desire has always been for us to be 'drawn up', not down!

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 MSG)

We need to guard against 'separating' God from the various areas of our lives - holding some off-limits to him and giving him freedom to 'have at' others. God knows the influences that we respond to in some of those off-limit areas are the most important for him to begin to turn us away from - so denying him access isn't going to really work for us in the long run. Don't lose sight of how this passage begins - it isn't about us always wanting to turn those areas over to his control - he is going to help us to yield that influence to him if we will just ask for his help!

We take those areas easily influenced by things that serve to pull us down and we ask for his help to no longer be pulled in those directions. We don't always know what pulls at us, or how to avoid that influencing force. We might just have to admit we are 'helpless' to avoid that tempting force in order to be free of it! It is in placing these things before God (an offering of sorts) that we can begin to have the power of those influences revealed. We begin to see clearly because we are beginning to see things from a totally different perspective.

We are oftentimes 'well-adjusted' to our sin. We get into easily and we don't really see any need to be free of it. Let me just say this - we might not see the need, but others will. They look to us as their companions in this journey of faith. To settle for the presence of sin in our lives is to allow others to think God doesn't provide a means of overcoming those sins. We might not realize how much our embracing of sin actually influences another to let go of their own, but it does! This is actually how a set of values and beliefs becomes a culture!

The more we discover there are off-limit areas in our lives, the more we need to lean into Jesus and ask him to help bring the best out of us in those areas. We are well-versed in how to allow those influences to bring the worst from us - it is time we allow Jesus to show us how to bring the best into those places! Just sayin!