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God’s will alone.

April 12, 2010

Romans 12: 2: ‘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.’

I am constantly being influenced by the world around me.  Watching TV, reading papers, checking out Facebook, and when the Romans says, ‘‘Do not be conformed to this world’ it is talking about me not allowing the ungodly practices around me to become part of who I am.  This is hard as I am completely immersed in the world around me.  How do I go about understanding what the influence on my life is and how do I set about reducing the negative, ungodly influences of the world?  Romans 12:2 provides some seriously amazing direction.

The first is I need to take the time to examine my behaviour to see whether it is Godly, I need to be challenging myself about how I interact with people, is the way I interact with people day to day Godly?  Or am I acting out of a long established pattern, learnt from the society around me?

But how do I actually do this?  The key to how I actually go about both understanding and changing my behaviour is contained in the word ‘transformed’.  The greek behind transformed is talking about a spiritual transformation.  So examining my behaviour to see if it is Godly starts with my relationship with God.  In growing stronger in my faith, my mind will then be renewed, my behaviour improved and patterns, old ways of doing things will be changed.  As I draw close to God I will start to see patterns of behaviour that need to change.

This is very cool!  When I think of how I might change my behaviour I mostly think about how I think.  Be more positive!  More friendly!  But Romans 12:2 is clear that to change my behaviour starts with my relationship with Jesus.  As my relationship with Jesus strengthens so will my mind and behaviour be transformed.

As I draw closer to God I become more aware of the influence the world has on me, I become more aware of how wrong my attitude and behaviour is, and also God’s will for my life becomes clear.

And accepting God’s will, doing God’s will is my focus these days, not satisfying some worldly expectation.  But I will be honest, that is very very hard, and in fact causes me great pain as my will can be quite different to God’s will.  But it is God’s will that I must pursue, as hard as that might be.

God bless,

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44 Comments
  1. Mack permalink

    Doing God’s will is my desire. I have that longing in my sould to be what HE wants me to be.

  2. Afua permalink

    Thanks Mark, today’s message is truly a rhema word for me. God bless you.

  3. Sandra permalink

    My morning ritual is to come to my computer and read, “Journey Deeper into God’s word. I like the scripture that Mark includes each morning that I can refer to and concentrate more on the word that Mark provides for me.

    I pray that God will listen to my call for his guidance in my life each day.

    Thank you Rev Mark for reaching out to so many people.

    Sandra

  4. Sammy88 permalink

    “Not conformed to…this world” also has to do with the world’s PHILOSOPHY… their Way of thinking. For example, political viewpoints which occasionally are thought of as being “Christian”. Christ did not support a political group while He was on earth. He supported a Heavenly Kingdom viewpoint. Another area where thinking all too often gets gradually molded into the world’s is in marriage. This world propagates that if it’s too hard, if I change my mind, if I see something or someone better, if I “fall out of love” because I or circumstances change, then divorce is okay. According to them, it’s an option. A Christian should enter & stay in marriage NEVER thinking that! God abhors divorce & doesn’t consider it an option. It is sad that the cherished value of commitment (in marriage & elsewhere) is not regarded so much now.
    I just give this two items as examples. The reason this verse is so urgent (v. 1 “I beseech you”!) is because it is a subtle, gradual molding of our soft little minds that the world (and dare I say Satan) seeks. It pervades every area of life. AS DOES GODS WORD & HIS WILL, if we seek Him, it should & must infiltrate every part of our lives & thinking.
    Blessings!

    • Peter Books permalink

      I see you have over looked the words of GOD himself. GOD divoriced Isreal, did HE not? It was for SPIRITUAL ADULTERY as well as CARNAL! Christ stated in Matt. 5:31,32 “Save for the cause of fornication” if a person is committing SPIRITUAL or CARNAL ADULTERY GOD BACKS DIVORICEMENT from the spouse committing that act! Also in 1 Cor. 5; 6:1-20; 7:10,11; It might do well to read about a spouse that doesn’t believe. A wife has the right to leave a husband that is doing wrong or they are having some sort of problems in their marriage. Also take note it is REQUIRED, YES, IT IS REQUIRED, THE OBLIGATION OF THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE AND FOR SURE THE OBLIGATION OF THAT ASSEMBLY THEY ARE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH, TO JUDGE IN THAT MATTER BETWEEN THE COUPLE TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON AND RESOLVE IT ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD!!! You and everyone else should take note that the wife can leave BUT SHE CAN NOT GET A DIVORICE OR REMARRY. SHE HAS TO BE RECONCILED TO HER OWN HUSBAND. THE CHURCH IS TRULY LACKING IN THIS AREA. NO CHURCH WILL ATTEMPT TO JUDGE MATTERS BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION AND OR THE ELDERS. THE MINISTERS ARE TOO AFRAID OF OUR GOVERNMENT TO FOLLOW THE WORD OF GOD, THERE WOULD BE LESS PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH IF IT WAS OPERATED AS STATED IN GOD’S WORD !!

  5. Shawn permalink

    Just what I needed to live on and to be aware of. The Lord answers prayers!

  6. hello brother mark

    I have do not watch nothing but christian tv and listen too christian music.
    I really don’t feel right to watching tv news i only watch t.v news when some call me or i see on the internet something that has happen near where i lived or something that is a sign of gods soon coming. we all know it is near, I just cannot watch show on tv because they always put something on them that is worldly. Words that are nasty and make you think as the world does. i don’t want the mind set i want to be thinking clearly .
    well god bless you & yours and may his light shine brightly on you and yours

  7. Mary Ann permalink

    Today’s message is very applicable to all of us here on planet earth. Those of us who have been abundantly blessed with money & possessions, seem to forget where it all comes from We start on ourselves instead of God. We seem to think we are in charge! We mortals forget that it’s all a gift and can be taken in a second. Not to mention, all of our possessions aren’t worth a plugged nickel to us when we pass on. It’s all “stuff” and we need to learn what is the important part of life…namely our Father in Heaven!

  8. the word is trudy inspiring. thanks and keep up the good work. permalink

    JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO ALL QUESTION

  9. Flash permalink

    Mark – Thank you for providing me just the word I needed to begin my new job today. Be blessed

  10. Alecia permalink

    Thank u Rev Mark for the word it is a great reminder of what our purpose is and not to get caught up in the things of this world.My heart is very heavy right now and im asking God for strength and courage to help me do his will.Thank u again and Gob bless u.

  11. Keath permalink

    I love your transparency Mark, because most spiritual leaders would dare not share that doing GOD’S will is often rough on them! The influences around us, often get us into a mode of self gratification, that if left unchecked will breed a desire to please ourselves, by trying to please others. Keep up the good fight. You are truly an inspiration!

  12. CMJ permalink

    I remember when I first reconnected with our Heavenly Father an joined a local church a few yrs ago! This was the very scripture that grabbed hold of me and kept me focused on what I knew God wanted me t do! I taped it to my dash board as a daily reminder. I believe I’ll do that again, as I am finding myself ‘conforming’ more and more. I keep trying to justify my ‘sinking’ as just a little diviersity in the area of music, or an oulet to help ease the tensions of the day, or even worse a break from church. So I am greatful for your post and your prayers! Thank you!

  13. Sally permalink

    I have been praying about this lately, thanks.

  14. Busola permalink

    That is what I needed in my life that God’s will shall be done.

  15. Rosa permalink

    Good Morning, and God bless you brother Mark
    thank you for sharing these wonderful reflection

  16. Joanne Heatley permalink

    Thanks Mark, another inspiring message!
    Finding your devotionals have truly brought me back on track with God.
    I spent a few months last summer allowing myself to slip slowly away from the Lord after a challenging situation occurred in the church I attended. It made me question my faith to the extent that worldly things were becoming part of my life again.
    When I began to read your messages God began transforming me once again. It was then i realised that my thinking had subtlely become more selfish and worldly.
    Thank God He kept my feet from slipping.
    Even so there are just times when it just seems so hard to do His will!! If we all had the luxury of hindsight in every decision we made where would that leave our faith? As I’m writing this I am becoming aware that when seeking God’s will for our lives and then finding we not to keen on it, all comes down to trusting that our Heavenly Father knows best.
    I just pray that He puts His desires on my heart so that i want what He wants for me! x x

  17. KKY-Omaha, Ne permalink

    Mark, I liked what you had to say today. I am thinking about the transforming part and I heard something the other day from a pastor. We as Christians need to portray Christians by being loving,kind,and gentle etc. That is where the Lord is leading me. This has been my leading for quite awhile now. Jesus changing my behavior. I don’t want to be a clanging cymbel or have enough faith to move mountains if I don’t love. I truly want to love like Jesus loves and be kind like Jesus and gentle like Jesus. Plus everything thing else Jesus is like. To behold Him and learn of Him is transforming me for His glory. Here is one prayer that I use to work on my behavior problems. What ever is tromping down (I can flare up when things are not going my way), I ask the Lord to dig a big hole, take this particular bad behavior like anger or flaring and to place it in the hole, cover it with His blood and create in me a new heart. Bam, Jesus had given me victory. It is almost like a release coming off my shoulders. I am doing so much better about that. It truly is amazing. I call it my dig in a hole prayer. When this flaring starts to come back a little. I do it all over again (my humanity starts shinging through again). Working with sin is like sweeping the dirt off your floor. You got to keep on sweeping. Well, I have gone on too long. May the Lord keep His face shining on you Mark.

  18. melanie permalink

    Thank you for the word,it caught my attention I needed it cause I hav been struggling,God bless you

  19. Grace Nma permalink

    Thanks a lot Mark,of a truth, doing GOD’S will is the ultimate, but how often do we allow the holy ghost to control our daily lives, everything we do,think about and say? in as much as we want to do GOD’s will, we should walk in line with the spirit of GOD at all times not ahead nor behind but IN LINE. am so grateful to GOD for giving me the grace to be able to walk in line with the spirit.Of a truth, GOD is faithful and am so happy that he has called me and chosen me to serve him

  20. Lynette permalink

    Thanks for the word this morning,this I truly needed.

  21. Jhoanne Vinuya permalink

    Great post! I needed to hear this. I am a teenager and I admit that I get caught up with the trappings of this world. It makes me cry sometimes when I become so not content and always longing for something or someone. 😦

  22. Tracy permalink

    As I newly saved christian, I find encouragement in your words. Words that can easily be applied to my everyday life. it is a daily struggle to give up my wordly ways and see others as God intends for me to, but my new relationship with God has made me more aware of when I am leaning towards gossip or a bad attitude and I correct myself and ask God to forgive me. Your postings are truly food for my soul! God Bless you and your ministry! May we continue to carry God’s torch for the world to see and believe!
    Amen

  23. this is my first time reading it ,i am blessed.

  24. jesus is lord

  25. I understand how hard it is to pursue God’s will and put your to the side. Sometimes I will catch myself doing my will, because I have lied to myself that it is God’s will. I will pray that you will be able to pursue God’s will and be a tool that God can use to get to the people of the world.

  26. K.T. permalink

    Thnx for this excerpt today. makes us all stop and reflect on what is really important.God and His word.

  27. Though we live in the world,we do not wage war like the world does.The weapons that we fight with are not the weapons of the world.On the contrary,they have divine power to demolish strongholds.We demolish every stronghold and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God,and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to the knowledge of Christ.2Cor.10:3-5
    We live in a real world but we do not live like the world(the ungodly)lives.We can’t change the things around us but we have to let our minds be renewed and transformed in order to make an impact on the world.
    God bless you Mark.

  28. Queen Of Chi permalink

    I like this! , hallelujah!

  29. I find it easy to be like what I am around. If I want to be more like God I ‘hang around’ Him, and that means I accept the fact that He lives inside of me. We are con-formative being, we act like what we are around. The more we are around it, the more we act like it.

    Conformed is an external thing and transformed is an internal thing. Once our Sin Nature is laid dormant, the Divine Nature of God abides inside of us and starts the sanctification process. But we have to be willing to allow the Spirit to work His order in our life.

    Thank you for this remainder, I really have to allow the Holy Spirit to work deeper into my life.

    Be Blessed
    Ambe

  30. Kai permalink

    That is excellent Mark. I love it. The excellent point is that we have to first learn who Christ is, we can’t be like Him if we don’t know what He is like.
    And the best, (and really only) way to do that is to read the bible for ourselves. Because that is where we get to know him.
    What I am learning is that most of the changes that need to happen in me… I can’t do. He has to. What I can DO, is do everything as if I am doing it TO or FOR Christ Himself.
    When I do my job, I do it as if I am doing it for Him.
    When I interact with someone, I do it as if I am enteracting with him.
    Because, as I do unto “the least of these, my bretheren”, I am doing unto the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ my savior.
    And the more I stay focuses on Christ, and doing everything for him, the less I focus on myself and what’s going on with me.

    Rock on Mark.

  31. Glenys Louise permalink

    Dear Mark, I am increasingly not able to attend “church” and have struggled with why for so long, as I SHOULD go to church. I have read this scripture hundreds of times and heard it preached on many times, but this morning it seemed as if a light went on – you see, the “world” I have always conformed to was a church world, which has increasingly become less and less relevant to the life I now live as a very, very damaged and incapable person who no longer “fits” in the church world (of any label – not singling any particular version out). Because of my “church” upbringing, I already didn’t fit into the “wordly world” though I worked in it as a child protection social worker for nearly 25 years before a major, massive breakdown in 2004 – and still feel more “at home” with the down and outs of society than I do with “great christians”! As part of my return to life, I have forced myself to stay connected with “church” and the cost now of conforming is so high (I can still come home from some church events that others are raving about, and try and bash myself senseless coz I don’t fit and am weird and difficult), I just can’t “go” there. And yet God who loves me so much keeps reaching into the empty shell that I am and assuring me that He is transforming my mind – indeed it is only my trust and obedience to Him that keeps me alive, and my safety with a husband who is only getting through because of his trust in God – oh that I had a church family where I could also trust them, and not battle the “conformity” to an image that seems, to me, as empty as my own shell. As per your qt. about why men are not in church – you may like to ponder and ask God why many, many people like me are increasingly unsafe in church too – similar reasons maybe, I’m not sure.I have begged to share my journey into Post traumatic stress with pastors etc, and have not even received replies to e-mails about what it feels like to be in a big, successful church but be the misfit – even though one of our most loved pastors journeyed the same path until he took his own life in July last year – the day after a huge, gee-wizz, weekend at our church. He did not feel safe in the body of Christ no more than I do – but the difference for him was that he was shoved into the mental health circus, where talk of God guarantees you’re labelled a loony. I have been supported at home by my husband – even when I’ve begged and screamed to be locked away. Anyway, I’m raving on now – thanks for reading!
    BTW – I am 50, married 30 years to an outstanding academic, have 3 grown kids all in various relationships with Jesus and two oldest in some leadership roles, my parents are in their 80’s and were in full-time ministry from their late teens – dad an anglican minister, and missionaries in Africa………………..

    • Hey Glenys! So wonderful to read your comment! I really praise God for people like you.. would love to meet you one day! God bless ya, Mark

      • GlenysLouise permalink

        Dear Mark, thanks for your reply and even letting my comment go online – I thought it would get sifted out! We will meet one day for sure, in Heaven! But it would be fun to meet down here to. I’ll ask God to organise that if it’s in His plan for us! Thanks for your daily devotions too – may God continue to bless, you, your family and the ministries He’s calling you to. In Him GL

    • funlovinmama permalink

      I agree with you, Glenys! I also have grown up in the church and am also going through PTSD (mine was from a past abusive marriage.) I am struggling to find a niche in the church.

      I was able to go to a Celebrate Recovery-Abuse survivor group and it helped SO MUCH. Unfortunately, the group fizzled out and now there is not one here in the area. I would have to drive 40 miles for the nearest group.

      This is definitely a great need in the church/es; to help people coming back from some horrific life experiences to feel accepted and loved and like they belong. (Maybe for some of us for the first time in our life.) We can feel that from the Lord and what He did for us on Calvary, but to find that acceptance in the church would be icing on the cake. It takes a LONG time to get through this stuff, it’s not like you get through it all in one day or even one month. I have been doing support groups for the past 4 yrs to recover and for my children to recover.

      We also need youth groups especially geared towards special needs kids. They need to belong as well. A lot of these kids have been through a lot in their short lifetime and need the Lord just as much as the “average kid.”

      Thanks for letting our voices be heard, Mark…

      BTW, your blog is AWESOME!!! It has really helped keep me focused on our ultimate purpose, to know and love God. It has been such a blessing reading it and reflecting on your insightfulness and wisdom the Lord has given to you. Thank you, Lord, for bringing such a spiritual man online!!

      • I am interested in starting a group like Celebrating Recovery in my community. If you care to share some resources i will appreciate it very much. Thanks for your post.

  32. Julie Kohl permalink

    All that God wants me to do and be is revealed in His Word. It is my responsibility to be reading and studying it and to depend on the Holy Spirit to teach me. Romans says to not conform to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind by the washing of the water of the word – His reveald word/will and The Word – who is Christ. Committing to Him as He did to us on the cross releases us from the battle of doing His will or doing our will. Walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill our own desires of our flesh. I have to discipline myself to pay attention to the Spirit and stay in step with him. All of God’s power is behind us in little actions and in the larger plan for our life. Amazing. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. What a joy to know Him and to appropriate His love and grace.

  33. Lydia Reyes permalink

    All fall short of the glory of God. I’m thankful that my heavenly father is so patient with each one of us. We are in this world and yes , sometime we get so caught up in all the hype the world tends to throw at us, but that does’nt mean that we have to turn our backs on God. He is there for us at all times. All we have to do is surrender our lives to him. We are his chosen people and we are here for a short time and during that time as hard as it may seem,the Holy Spirit is transforming us little by little in the likeness of christ. So even if you think it is hard just let go and let God. I’ve tried it and it works. I give all Glory and Praise to God. Mark you are such a blessing to all . May the Lord continue to use you in a mighty way.

  34. TONA permalink

    hi its easy 2 b comformed dan transformed,cos of d flesh.bt lets rem dt its possible 2 stay

    transformed everyday by studing GODS WORD.ITS 1OO% POSSIBLE

  35. This week we stopped our TV satellite service. The programing on TV has declined steeply. Although we received over 300 channels, most were not worth the electricity used to watch them.

    • funlovinmama permalink

      Celebrate Recovery can be found on the internet at http://www.celebraterecovery.com. It is a great ministry that helps those who suffer from many “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” such as; chemical dependency, codependency, love/relationship addiction, sex addiction, adult child of alcoholic/addict, recovery from abortion, recovery from anger issues, and abuse survivor, to name the majority of the different groups. I’m sure there are more, but I can’t recall them all… It is a 12-step Biblically based recovery program. It has sure helped me these past four years.

      Another program that sure has helped is a divorce recovery program. Our church offered one for the divorcees and one for the children of divorce…

      Good luck and may God bless you and your ministry…

  36. GlenysLouise permalink

    Dear Funlovinmama, thanks for your reply – so encouraging to hear from you. This stuff does take years and years – a christian counsellor told me that even as the mind and spirit recover, our bodies take years to “get better” – if ever. But thankfully the Bible reminds us to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to get it all back in balance – sometimes that hope is all that keeps me going as either my mind, or my spirit or my body take turns in having a “downer” again!! Thank God (literally) that they don’t all take a dive together now!! You gotta laugh haven’t you! And praise God. Blessings GL

  37. This is such a cool way of thinking about what God’s will is for us, but to put yourself out in to public veiw so that we maybe able to see the change. I use this blog to vent when I should be doing what you are doing. Thank you for the advice and the inspiration to start changing my post. I am not going to delete my post, but use them as a guide to watch and see if my attitude and my writing change.
    Thank you again.

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