July 9, 2012

Higher and Farther

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. ~Romans 12:1-2
Hi there!  As I sit and write today, I am remembering the verses above.  Our family was able to go to a Bible camp that the Mr. grew up going to every summer, and while there, we heard some wonderful messages.  I counted them up, and our family has heard 11 messages since last Sunday, and nearly every one of them has included these verses! WOW!  I think God has something He wants us to hear!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you already know that my heart's desire is for our family to be radically different in the way we follow Jesus.  I want to be radically different!!!  And I believe that the key to being that way is right here in these two verses.  I was once again reminded this week of how I need to step even farther away from the world so that I can become more like Jesus.  As Christians, we tend to compare ourselves to other Christians and their standards.  However, as one of the pastors we heard this week said, "The Holy Spirit's standard is always higher.  It calls us to bring EVERY THOUGHT to the obedience of Christ Jesus!" (II Corinthians 10:5)  There is no plateau in true Christianity.  There will always be a higher calling that God wants us to pursue.  There will always be the next thing to bring under subjection. 

I used to think this was a depressing way to view the Christian walk, but as I began to pursue Christ-likeness with a whole heart, I realized how rewarding it is to live out my relationship with Jesus.  The more I get to know Him, the more I love Him.  The more I love Him, the more I want to please Him.  The more I try to please Him, the more like Him I become. 

Please don't think that I have it all together and am the "perfect" Christian.  As I said before, there is no plateau.  There is that calling to go higher and farther, and I was convicted of several things this week that are calling me higher and farther.  It is difficult to swallow that pride and say, "Yes, God, I will surrender this too."  But I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit's work, and the love that my God has for me.  How humbling it is to know that the Creator of the universe, the One who can do anything, has taken the time to speak to my heart and has asked me to become more like Him. 

How about you?  Is the Holy Spirit active in you today? Are  you listening to His voice?  Is your biggest goal in life to become more and more like Jesus, or is it something else?  Let's step away as far from the world as we can and be transformed into Christ's image!  What a privilege God has called us into!

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