"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
It's SO easy to melt into the picture of life around us, if we aren't thinking about it! When things are going well, we are happy and very optimistic! Positive feelings and outlooks come easy when we're 'riding the wave' of good times! And, when life becomes ugly, we can become ugly right along with it. We give in to anger, discouragment, fear, depression, hopelessness, disfunction. If we're not careful, the attitudes or 'customs' of the people around us become our way of thinking and then govern our behavior.
How do we keep from being 'dragged down to the level of immaturity' so characteristic of the 'culture' around us?
The verses in Romans say, "fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.". Daily, as I purpose to fix my attention on God, and not on my self, on others or on my circumstances, I find my heart and mind being "changed from the inside out". I am more able to recognize what God desires to do in and through me, and then, I'm able to do it with all my heart. Even when circumstances are pressing and treacherous, even when there are huge demands on my mental energies and time, I LOVE TO TAKE TIME TO FIX MY ATTENTION ON GOD! ! ! I love to embrace Who God is and what He does for me -- I submit my heart and mind to His incredible plan -- I accept and am so very thankful for His provision of grace that enables me to live in His life, regardless of what life looks like around me. Taking the time to agree with the truth about God's love, His goodness, His faithfulness and His power to carry out His perfect will increases my ability to hear His promptings to think good thoughts, to do the wise thing, or to speak an edifying word. It opens my heart to receive His grace for my need and it opens areas of my life for Him to work out details I can't even imagine! The joy that comes from a 'deep down' knowing Who He is, gives me strength to love and live abundantly! Without the hope and peace that comes from believing that God IS and He IS with me through whatever comes my way, leaves me with my own wretched, empty humanity and so weak, that I adopt the attitudes and conduct of one whose life is void of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control! ! ! YUCK! ! !
Can I entice you to FIX YOUR ATTENTION ON GOD, today? Can I encourage you to EMBRACE GOD, daily? Can I invite you to COME into a new way of living that will fill your soul to overflowing and enable you to live the best life you could have ever dreamed possible?