“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.” (ESV)
While there have been volumes written on these two verses, these are quick takes and so I have two quick thoughts.
1. In light of all God has done for us in Christ, offering ourselves back to Him in humble service is the only thing that makes any sense to do. The phrase translated “spiritual worship” in the ESV can also be translated “reasonable service.” I think both translations are valid.
Giving ourselves to God is a spiritual act–nothing necessarily physical takes place when we do it. It is also an act of worship–an action by which we acknowledge, celebrate, and participate in the character of God. It is a service–we are giving up our will and plans in favor of those of another. And it is entirely reasonable–again, in light of what He has done, nothing else makes any sense.
When we get our minds wrapped around what God has done for us in Christ, this giving will take place and our hearts will follow.
2. Many people want to know what God’s will is. Right here Paul tells us how we can know. We need to approach Him with transformed minds. As long as our minds (and hearts with them) are cluttered with the garbage of the world, we will see through that filter. Such a filter does not allow us to see the will and plans of God.
If we are going to find that gem, it will require a new filter. We must see our minds renewed. With renewed minds, our whole lives will be transformed. When we think in line with the kingdom of God instead of the kingdom of the world, our behavior will follow. When our behavior changes, so will our life outcomes.
In order to enjoy the fruits of a transformed mind, we must guard carefully what we allow to access them. The media we consume will invariably affect how we see and interact with the world around us. If we fill our minds and hearts with junk, junk is what we will see. When we renew our minds with help of Jesus, all of a sudden we will find that we see the world in new ways. We will be able to see things that we couldn’t before because we have a new filter. We will be able to see–and do–the will of God.