Be not conformed to this world
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.- Romans 12:1-2
It is not God that will help you to present your body; you will have to do the presentation to God yourself. When your body wants to lure you into sin, it will have to take your conscious effort to put it under check. Speak to your body that it is dead to worldly things; therefore, can no longer push you into sin. If Christ is in you, if you are born again and your mind is renewed, the devil has no right over you to make you do what you do not want to do.
God used the blood of Jesus as the purchasing power to buy us back from the slave market of sin and since He bought us, we are His' and He has every right over our lives. When you buy an item and you are issued a receipt, the receipt becomes a proof/ evidence that you have paid. You are then free to handle or use the item however you wish without recourse to the seller. Also, in the same vein, God has paid for your sins using the blood of His son, Jesus. You no longer own yourself; you are in His kingdom and you are uniquely different from unbelievers. Thus, if it is unreasonable for the item you bought to protest against you, then it is also unreasonable for any believer to think he can live his life in a way that does not honour God. As a child of God, bought and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, you no longer own yourself; you belong to God. It is a sign of gross irresponsibility for any believer not to accept the fact that he does not own himself.
This present world is selfish; it is a world full of ungrateful people. Ingratitude is rampant in the world; it is as if the more you do good to people, the more ungrateful they become. God is good, He is a God of blessing, but He does not want us to be ungrateful like the people in the world. It is not uncommon to see when people do not care about those who raise them; biologically or spiritually. No wonder you find many get married without the consent of their spiritual and biological parents. The spirit of ingratitude is much in this world, but God is admonishing us through Apostle Paul not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by renewing our minds.
Living according to God's standard is the only thing that can make you different from the people in the world. When you are born again and you make Jesus your Lord and Saviour, your spirit becomes born again but your soul still is unrenewed. What will make you live a life above sin is the word of God; the constant renewing your mind with the word of God. The more of God's word you hear, the more your life pleases the Master.
In verse 2, believers are admonished to be transformed by the renewing of their minds and that can only be done through the word of God. The word of God is the book of renewal.
Prayer: Oh Lord, I receive illumination and direction for my life on the basis of your word. Your word directs my step and establishes my triumph in Jesus Christ Name.
Further Reading: Proverbs 4:20-23
One-year Bible Reading Plan: Daniel 9:1-11:1; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 28:27-28