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.
A friend of mine was preaching at a camp that my wife and I attended for vacation, and, in the midst of his sermons on Ephesians, he said that a lot of us want to know what the will of God is for our life. We get very vexed, very anxious and very concerned about whether or not we are “in the will of God” or not. He then pointed out that how we stay in the will of God is to remain obedient and faithful in the things that have been put before us.
How do we remain faithful in the things that have been put before us? At different stages of life, this can mean a lot of different things. For a child this can mean that we remain faithful and obedient to our parents, that we remain faithful and diligent in our education and in schooling, and that we pay attention to the future. For a young adult this can mean that we must remain faithful morally in a time when emotions and pressures conspire to throw us off balance and to take our gaze off of Christ and seat it firmly in ourselves. When we enter the world it might mean learning what it means to provide for a spouse or family, or for ourselves, as opposed to relying upon others. It can mean taking good care and offering good stewardship of the money and the possessions that the Lord gives to us – little things like keeping up the car and cleaning the house.
But it also means being faithful to the promptings of the Lord. I was prompted this week when I was in prayer to go and confess a sin to a friend – a sin that I had committed a long, long time ago. The Lord drew to my attention how this sin might have affected my friend’s walk and faith, and that I needed to go and confess it. Sin to the soul is like cold to a battery – it has the potential to sap energy, and, ultimately, after a certain point, to render it inoperable. Confession then is like taking your battery in for a checkup, warming it and cleaning off the heads connected to the electric lead lines. Confession frees your soul of unnecessary and damaging baggage, allowing it to function properly. It makes you free, free indeed before God and man. Confession clears the air, clarifies thinking and renders the heart better able to discern what the will of God truly is, what is good, what is acceptable, and what is perfect.
In our desire to “know the will of God”, are we willing to be obedient in those things that are put before us? Are we putting ourselves in the pathways of God’s grace so that we can encounter promptings from the Holy Spirit? When was the last time that you felt God called you to act in a small and simple way to bring about cleansing of the soul and cleansing of the being?
Do not be conformed to this world. Be transformed when you offer your mind and your thoughts for divine renewal before God in the practice of prayer, sacrament and fellowship. By this testing, this presenting of your mind before the Lord, you will come to know and to see what things the Lord is putting before you and calling for obedience in. Listen to his voice and respond to his prompting – and enjoy a stronger battery life in your heart.