Romans 12:2 – 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.
God has placed this verse on my heart for a reason. I have been spending the last few days thinking about this verse. Studying it. Meditating on it.
I recently made a promise to myself that I would “get things in order.” I felt like I had no schedule, was lacking sleep, eating habits were poor, and I wasn’t getting any exercise. I told myself this time would be different. I can no longer count the number of times I have started and stopped “getting things in order” and figured maybe this time I would take a different approach. I bought the book The Daniel Plan while I was on vacation in May and recently began reading it. Early on in the book it references Romans 12:2. In seeing it there, as well as in my daily devotional, an email devotional, and on cards where it was in my own handwriting, it began to make sense. In order for me to make a permanent change, a lifestyle change….not another diet or a focus to lose weight or following some strict schedule….I needed to change from the inside out. The starting point for that was not exercise, or more sleep, or better eating habits….although those come next. The starting point was having quiet time with God every day. Not a nice to have or an if I have time thing…but an absolute necessity. Even if I didn’t get eight hours of sleep, or three healthy meals, or any exercise, I needed time with God. I finally figured out what I had been doing wrong all along. If you look to God and start there….start with your insides….the other things will fall in place. Magically you will have time you never had before. You will have a desire to eat better, to exercise, to live a more healthy and fulfilling life. You will want to be a better you and it will be driven by your love for the Lord and the desire to be the best version of you possible.
But this process is not all about me. If anything, it is about everyone but me. Having a fulfilling relationship with God allows me to be in a better state spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally, making me a more loving and giving person. Fixing my insides allows me to look outward, providing me with more patience and love for others. It gives me a joyful heart that can be shown to others and passed on to them with a smile, a kind word, laughter, or a listening ear. Fixing my insides gives me a solid foundation which then allows me to encourage and inspire others. God has given each of us a gift and no gift is greater or smaller, or more or less important than the next. Some days I am not sure what my gift is that God wants me to cultivate. I think each day brings me closer to having a better understanding of my purpose and how my gift relates to that purpose. But all of this is a work in progress and God is okay with that. One step, one day at a time, with a focus on God. I stumble and I fall and sometimes take a step backwards but God loves me anyway. He loves me completely and perfectly. He loves me just as I am.
Hebrews 11:7 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.