Change Your Life - Part I
December 30, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as 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. - Romans 12:1-2.
Are you happy with your life? You may be reasonably happy with your life. There may be some things that you would change but not much. Now that I've said that, there are millions of people, possibly billions of people, that are not that happy with their lives. Have you ever heard of "Second Life"? It is an Internet community, which appears to me to be for people who are not happy with their lives in the real world.
This is what the "Second Life" website says about it: "Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 2,260,866 people from around the globe. From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored it a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business."
Second Life has been so successful financially, that the IRS is making plans to monitor and tax financial transactions taking place through the Second Life Internet community. Think about this, in Second Life up to $500,000 in user-to-user transactions take place every day, and the economy is growing by 10 to 15 percent a month. I think you can see what I am getting at. There are millions of people who have begun to work and play in what is essentially an imaginary, make believe world. For the vast majority of them, they have entered into this virtual world because of their unhappiness, at least to some extent, with their real lives.
It may be that if you are unhappy with your life, or even if you are happy with your life that you need a change. Why do I need to change if I am happy with my life? You are not the only one involved. The rest of us are involved as well. What you do and what I do, affects everyone else. The most important reason to change our lives is that God wants you to change. Have you asked God recently if He is happy with the way that you are living your life? If you were to ask God if He is happy with your life - what would He say?
Is there a sin, that you have been involved with? It does not have to consume your life, but it still has been dropping some grains of this sin into your spiritual life. Every time you drop another grain of that sin into your life, it puts a little more distance between you and your Lord. Every time you drop another grain of that sin into your life, it slows down your spiritual fervor a little more. Every time you drop another grain of that sin into your life, you begin to have more of a concern about what the world wants and what the flesh wants than you do about what God wants in your life.
What is it that is slowing you down spiritually? What is it that is decimating your spiritual walk? What is ruining your fellowship with your Lord? What makes you care more about the things of this world than the things of God? If we are honest with ourselves, we all have some sin in our lives. As the apostle John writes in 1 John, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 John 1:8; 10)."
Isn’t it time to pray as the Psalmist prayed "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)."
Do you want to change your life? The good news is that you can change if you have a desire in your heart to change. Just after the apostle John says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).” He then gives us the good news, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)."
I think what the apostle Paul says in Romans 12:1-2 fits in well here as he says, "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." To change our lives we must present our bodies, our lives, and all that we are to the Lord as living sacrifices. To change our lives we must no longer be conformed to this world, doing what this world wants, thinking what this world wants, living how this world wants us to live - instead, we must be transformed as Paul puts it "…by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."