by: Carole L. Haines
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. (Romans 12:1-2)
I noticed the short phrase, “by the mercies of God,” as I read this encouraging Scripture today. I realized that it is only by God’s mercies that I can present my body to God as a Living sacrifice. The NIV puts it this way,
“in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
As I open this long-closed, bolted, and rusted compartment of my life to God, I must do so in View of His Mercies. This Core of Fear runs so deep, that I must keep that precious Cross of Christ before me as I surrender to the work He wishes to do in me. I love how Hebrews 12 puts it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)
Fixing my eyes of Jesus, I can do that. I can’t pull out this Core of Fear but I can fix my eyes on Him while He gently and mercifully performs this delicate emotional surgery. Is there something God is desiring to remove from within you that feels so huge, that to have it removed feels dangerous. Even though Fear is not where I want to dwell, it’s what I have known for so long, it’s familiar.
I was speaking to a friend who has been through such chaos and upheaval, that when everything is okay, she wonders if everything really is okay. We can get so attached to our fears, our worries, our wrong view of ourselves, situations, or of God, that we don’t know how to live any other way. O, Dear Believer, but God does. God knows how to guide you into the freedom of the Children of God. That way is a person. His name is Jesus (John 14:6)
We cannot do this impossible work, but God can. I believe that and I am learning to trust Him more and more. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. That is the view of God’s mercies we need to keep before us on our journeys.