Monday, June 10, 2013

Our Reasonable Spiritual Response

Today we drove home from a weekend of seeing grandchildren and spending time with their parents, in particular getting to meet our newest one born just two and a half weeks ago. As we drove home I took a different route past a church with which I have had some preliminary discussion, but nothing looking forward at this time. There was no agenda in going there other than just taking a look at it and its surrounding community and making it seem a little more real as a body of believers to pray for as we ourselves and they seek God’s leading. As we were driving away our kids asked if we would move there. Our answer was we don’t know, we’re trusting God to show us where He wants us. And that was okay with them just as it has been with us.

Sarah writes about resting in God and taking a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. We all have hopes and desires for things that we would like to see happen, and in those hopes there is always a point where we move from reasonable control to no control. In those areas of reasonable control we are to do the reasonably spiritual thing which is to step out prayerfully and do as we believe God is leading. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

In Romans 12:1 it says that the reason we are to present ourselves to God to be fully used by Him is because it is our “spiritual service of worship.” The word translated “spiritual” in the New American Standard Bible is also translated the same in most modern translations, but if you were to look at some of the foot or column notes you might find the word “reasonable” or “rational.” The reason for this is that Greek word used here is not “pneumatikos,” literally meaning “spiritual” or of the pneuma – spirit.

Rather, the word used is here is “logikos” or reasonable. In trying to accurately translate the entirety of the passage the translators seemed to think it best to be say that the most logical thing to do was the most reasonably spiritual thing. And it is the most reasonably spiritual thing that we respond by presenting ourselves fully back to God because of all that God has done for us. Because of what Paul describes in the first eleven chapters of Romans, it just makes spiritual sense that we present ourselves in service to Christ who is our Lord. So, when we have choices and even the ability to act on those choices we are to present them to God and seek His leading for them and then step out trusting His Spirit to direct our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6).

At the same time, there are those things over which we have no control or those or maybe we have control of some portion but not of others. It is here that we sit before God and ask Him to help us sort that which we can and should act on and that which we have to lay totally in His hands and trust Him to work. This may mean taking steps of uncertainty because of the leading of the Spirit, knowing that He will have to go before you and it may also mean waiting or even going another direction.

The key is whether we have control or not, that we take everything to Him and lay it in His hands, asking for His leading and His help. This is one way we worship Him as we truly rely on Him for our very lives and how we live them.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (6/10)

Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don’t even feel the strong grip My hand holding yours. How foolish you are, My child!

Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline. Never lose sight My Presence with you. This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day.

Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

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