“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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.”
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Why is “not following the customs of the world” a true act of worship?
Four years ago I humbly approached God’s throne and asked for forgiveness. That act of humility enabled my hard heart to be broken. You see, a hard heart is actually a heart that is insolent, rebellious and self-serving. It’s a heart that believes their own ways are right (self-righteous). It’s a heart that digs in and is resistant to change. It’s a heart that could say “Yes, I believe in God but I also believe that “my” ways are better than His ways and “my” truths are better than his truths.
Thankfully, the Lord allowed my heart to break. It was a horrible experience that led to anxiety and depression, but in the end, led to renewed hope and restoration in me, my marriage and my family.
Broken-heartedness is what allowed my heart of stone to become a heart of flesh. A heart pliable enough to let go of my ways and let God begin to change my thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
At first, it was really hard! Negative thoughts fueled anger, hurt, and shame! Everything inside of me wanted to run away from my problems! I wanted to attack and blame the people who caused me pain. I also wanted to harm myself for making bad choices!
I made a conscious choice to believe God’s Word instead of believing my own thoughts. I dove into scripture and wrote encouraging verses on pieces of paper and posted them around my house, in my car and at my office. Every time I had a toxic thought, I replaced it with the Word of God. Over time, my mind and brain began to mold into the person God has originally created me to be. That is when I found myself and that is when I found my true purpose.
I believe God has given me the gift of prophecy because He knew I would honor His Word above my own. He knows that I trust him more than I trust myself.
We live in a world where people believe they are entitled to have their own truths. We live in a culture that twists God’s Word to fit their own beliefs. We live in a culture that mocks the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
Paul says in Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Having the gift of prophecy is a humbling task!
I can’t tell you how many times I had to repent for asking God to take it from me!
By nature, I have been a prideful people-pleaser my whole life!
Today, God commands me to speak his Word out loud and to proclaim the unabated, unchanging Word of God! There is only one God (Romans 3:30) and there is only one way to God (John 3:16, Romans 3:22-26) and that is through his son, Jesus Christ.