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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Romans 12 : 1 – 3, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. NKJV

There is something innate that is seated deep in the hearts of humans which seeks to be free. Throughout history people have fought and died for the dream of being free from various bondages. When people are in spiritual darkness or bondage they will endeavor to be free but apart from divine instruction, Satan can use their passion for freedom to drive them from God, thus placing them deeper into bondage.
If you truly want to experience total liberation, you will have to undergo a transformation as well. A person can’t fully experience liberation apart from first encountering a spiritual transformation. In other words, we can’t do the same things the same way and expect different results. In John 8 Jesus saved a woman who was taken in the very act of adultery from her accusers who sought to stone her. After the men all left Jesus and the woman alone, He told the woman that He didn’t condemn but that wasn’t the last thing He told her. He said, “Go and sin no more.” She had to have a change in her heart before she could be totally free from the very thing that brought her into bondage.
As a pastor who teaches the principles of God’s Word, I have taught from Romans 12 : 1 – 2, many times. Today, the Lord opened my eyes to see deeper into these verses. We all need our minds renewed through the Word of God that we might have a spiritual perspective on things that we face, instead of a worldly view. It’s one thing to have your mind renewed and to become a true disciple of Christ but Jesus doesn’t want us to stop there. Jesus tells us in the gospels that if we desire to follow Him we must deny self, take up our cross and follow Him. Let’s look at the first condition Jesus requires of us who seek to live completely free.
We must be willing to deny self in the way that He denied His will and obeyed God’s will. What does it profit us if we learn the truth of God’s Word but we don’t submit our hearts to obey any of them? Nothing!
Paul doesn’t just tell us to have our minds renewed in order to be transformed but in verse 3 he continues by instructing us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Now we’re getting down to the place of getting real with our walk and taking ownership for our own actions. It is only when we deny self and ask the Lord what He wants to change in us that we will begin to experience true and lasting liberation from the flesh nature. We can have our minds renewed but still be filled with spiritual pride and fall prey to Satan’s devices.
Obviously, the Lord has this on His heart or He wouldn’t have revealed it to me to share today. Are you submitted to God’s plan for your life? Are you a true disciple that denies self that you might experience God’s liberating power in your heart? Let the Lord speak to your heart today as you seek His will and not your desires and see what happens.
Whom the Son sets free,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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