Summary: God has a plan for each person’s life, He desires that we be molded into His image, not by the world’s standards. Here are three steps to being what God desires for you to be.
Let me start this morning by asking a question. How many times have you heard someone say, “I going to do my own thing.” I don’t want any part of church, I don’t want any part of Christianity, and I don’t want any part of Christ, because I want to live my life the way that I want to. So many people say they don’t want any part of Christianity because they are afraid that somehow, someway, it will prove to be too confining for them. I remember when I was a teenager in high school. I know it’s hard to believe but one day I was there. A very well known musician named Bob Dylan wrote and recorded a song entitled, “You Gotta Serve Somebody”. The lyrics went something like this: You may be an ambassador to England or France, You may like to gamble, you might like to dance, You may be the heavyweight champion of the world, You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls. You may be a construction worker working on a home, You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome, You might own guns and you might even own tanks, You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed. You’re gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you’re gonna have to serve somebody. There’s a lot of truth in this song. You see, you will never be able to do your own thing. John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Our world tends to view serving Christ as being too restricting, and too limiting. The truth is that being without Christ is that which binds you and limits you for if you are not serving Christ, you most certainly are serving three entities, self, sin, and Satan. These three entities will control your life, box you in, put you in a mold, and limit your potential for truly enjoying life. In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul writes to this Roman church and tells them to “be not conformed to this world”. Paul uses a Greek word that is translated conform. It literally means to “to shape by placing in a container, or mold”. That is exactly what the world or age, desires to do. It attempts to place us in it’s mold, so it can corrupt us and rob us of becoming truly what God desires for us to become. God desires for us to be free, complete in Christ, and enjoying the riches of the blessings of Christ. The thing about being placed in a mold is this, not only are we limited by the confines of the mold, but we wind up loosing our individuality. If you are not a Christian, you have been conformed to this world. While your outward appearance may differ, inwardly you are motivated by the same things that motivate other non-believers, greed, lust, and selfishness. This is why I say, if you are not yielded to the Holy Spirit of God, if you are not under His control, you are capable of doing just about anything in the right circumstances. You may be a good moral person, you may consider yourself to be kind, compassionate and just, but without the influence of the Spirit of God, under the influence of the flesh, if you found yourself in the right circumstances, you are capable of just about anything. This is why Paul said in Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh (NRS).
God does not desire that you be molded by the world. Here Paul uses a word that means an age, or a world order. We have already stated that this age, or world order, desires to be the shaping influence in your life. You can be certain that you will feel the pressure to be shaped and molded by the world. All the while you may think that you really are in charge, but you find that you are much like a sail boat, just pushed by the worldly currents of sin, self, and Satan.
Here in Romans 12, verses 1-5, Paul shares three truths, or really steps, with the Roman church. These three steps are given to help the Romans not be shaped by the processes of the age. If we will but follow these three steps, we will find ourselves breaking out of the world’s mold.
I. RESIGN YOURSELF TO GOD.
1. Paul writes in verse 1, that the Roman church needed to present their bodies to God, as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. What he is saying to these Romans, and I believe to us as well, is that we are to give ourselves to God as a gift, for His use and disposal, to resign yourself totally and completely to the will of God.