20th June 2020
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Have you ever said or heard someone say ‘I thought I was fairly normal’.
When I was in my teens my best friend came home with me for a meal with my family - Mum, Dad and my brothers. Afterwards he said to me ‘You are lucky, you have a really nice family’. Reality was he came from a single dad home where he basically just had to fend for himself and his ‘normal’ looked nothing like my ‘normal’.
At the time I probably hadn’t truly appreciated what I had, but that day I was more thankful for my ‘normal’.
We have all probably come across people whose ‘normal’ is far removed from what we would consider normal or even acceptable.
Fact is we can all easily settle for something that is less than the ‘normal’ God has intended for us.
In writing to the Roman church Paul encourages both them and us that there is a better pattern of living than what this present world offers up as normal.
Even the very best this world has to offer is nothing compared to what God has for His people. ‘But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”’(1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
As long as we are alive on this planet there will be pressure to conform to this world’s values and ideologies and settle for the ‘status quo’.
Jesus faced the same pressure from every quarter when He walked the dusty roads of Israel. However He refused to bow to the pressure that was applied.
Jesus conformed only to the pattern and values of the Kingdom of God. As a result He demonstrated healing, deliverance, provision and the miraculous. He spoke of rivers of living water, new life, peace, love and joy and the list goes on. That was His ‘normal’.
Let’s not settle for what we have always known, but embrace God’s ‘normal’ for all of our lives.