The Importance of Romans 12:1&2

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.

I grew up in the 90’s, in a seemingly normal family, in Texas.    I would even say that my parents made sure that I was brought up in a church with great teaching, doctrine, and a pretty good sense of community.  I was in a generation where internet started becoming popular to download songs and find what seemed like infinite amounts of knowledge.  The thing that I didn’t see was the filth which would be introduced into my life through friends.  A few of my friend’s brothers had stacks of pornographic magazines which filled filing cabinets or would be several rows deep halfway up the wall.  I had a beautiful sister,  and my parents tried to protect us from the world.  You can’t take every relationship with a person and go through their closet space, what they eat on a daily basis, or see what kind of tv shows they watch.  There are just some things you won’t be able to hold your children back from.I was a really skinny and short guy all my life, but I was willing to fight any bigger guy for my sister to be protected.  The same went for her! I remember her trying to hunt down this huge guy that almost broke my nose……. but we won’t talk about that.

The point of this blog is to say that if it were not for Christ…. I would be stuck in a mud pit of sin, fighting for things not of Christ, addicted, helpless, struggling with no hope.  When I became a believer, I started seeing differently.  Now addictions, head knowledge of scripture, fighting for what seemed right, and how I lived changed.  I was not a true believer til my early 20’s.  I was a long ways away from the first magazine I had seen.  I was unable to see a woman without seeing her as an object.  I developed having anger from my issues with lust.  I tried to have relationships with women which would be considered ” Christian” before I was a believer but it would always lead to a confusing struggle of dos and don’ts.

This is when God changed me.  I  became a believer in the Most High and Just God.  The Lord ridded me of a relationship that I could not handle and would not cause praise to be for His name.  The Lord would soon show me to my long time foe of lustful addictions.  Over half my life I had these things in my life!  I prayed for Him to take it away.  His answer was no.  He knew my struggle, but this was the way that I could glorify Him in the highest.  I soon started fighting with everything I had to get out of addiction.  This is when I realized the truth to Romans 12:1&2.  The same author that wrote, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” wrote Romans 12.   I started seeing the Lord would not just remove things from my life.  I was supposed to lay down my body for the worship of Christ.  I was no longer a singular individual, but part of a body of Christ and I no longer could think for myself. The Lord quickly put me into this battle which I found difficult because I never had anyone to keep me accountable.  Because of lack of true accountability He challenged me to love Him enough to lay down my ways to follow after Him.  It took months of taking steps, falling, feeling a cycle of inability to get out, more prayer, more reading, and meeting someone special.  The Lord knew that I was putting things in my life to get rid of lustful things.  I had put accountability software which blocked out anything questionable, would report all websites to people I knew, and would not let me on the internet if I tried to disable it.  I put parental control on my tv.  I started seeing the fruit that lust bore in my life.

The Lord made it evident that if I didn’t fight to get out then I wouldn’t get out.  My act of worship was giving everything to rid my life of the sin that was there.  I would either run away if I didn’t feel strong enough to handle temptation in some way or I would battle it head on when the Lord was showing me scripture to fight with.  I look back now and realize the amount of grace, strength, and power which He gave me during those times in which I was so weak.  About this time was when Joy and I started dating.  I had some issues here and there seemed to be the perfect woman introduced into my life.  I was in love with her from the moment I met her.  The most beautiful person I have ever met was standing in front of me and I had to offer nothing but a broken life of lust.  This is when I saw that if she was so beautiful, amazing, and worth fighting for then how much more is Christ worth fighting for.  This drove me to mad obsession of understanding how to worship Him through getting addiction out of my life.  Mercy  and grace (the free and unmerited favor of God) were shown to me through this.  I have never witnessed such a beautiful thing in my life and God was showing me that He was better.  This was the point where I realized I had to be willing to sacrifice that relationship to make sure I was walking with the Lord.

I hadn’t seen porn, or anything, for a couple months when images and dreams starting happening.  Images were torturing me in my sleep and I could remember (even after all this time) the first images I had seen in magazines.  I knew the giving of myself was for the church and me as worship. I had not realized the back part of Romans 12:1-2.  My mind must be transformed!  I started realizing that the battle was not ending anywhere close.  I had to meditate on scripture.  My thoughts,  words, and actions were all hinging on the transformation of my mind. I had to change from the mind of a slave to sin to the mind of a slave to righteousness.  This was weird at first because I would lay down to sleep at night and would pray before that the Lord protect me from thoughts.  It started off by me waking up from dreams and I could pray.  I would then realize that just asking God’s protection wasn’t all that needed to happen.  He called me to be led by the Holy Spirit in my dreams.  This can’t happen when you are focused in on sexual images from your past while you are in a comatose state.  Eventually in my dreams I was thinking of my own accord.  Images were popping up and immediately I would think about scripture and the God that I loved.  Images started going away.  Freedom was there at last… so I thought.

Now I am down the road and I realized that it was not just the start of a battle with lust but with everything in which God is not glorified.  SIN has to be cut out of life, Christ must be worshipped, and I will always have to battle.  It’s no different for everyone else out there.  If we are believers then we should had the Holy Spirit convicting us, walking us through battle, being strong in our weak points, defeating sin in our life, finding new sin, and starting the cycle again.  We should never stop presenting ourselves as individuals as a worship to the Lord.  We should never stop filling our mind with the scripture of God. In scripture it calls this “girding up your loins.”  We should be prepared and readying ourselves for battle everyday for the sake of the gospel.  We as individuals should be lifting up our lives as worship so that the community of believers benefits from Christ working in us.  If we do then we can see the will of God for our lives, our community, and speak truth into those around us.  I’m not worried about catching flack for a really long blog which describes my flaws in a very vivid picture because people need to know how to fight the good fight, have other people next to them to battle with, and to draw support from.  Where is the church?  How did Christ change your life and start destroying former sin?  Where are you now? Are you still battling?  Are you waddling in sin with an unrepentant heart?  Check yourself!  Are you finding new sin to lift up to the Lord to work through?  Here is a list of a few for me that I found once I had addiction to lust out…. anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety, jealousy, pride, attitude, laziness, and etc….  until Christ returns I will keep trying to be more like Him.  I challenge you to do the same.

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