I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire. (Luke 24:32)
“I don’t think God cares if I go or not.”
That’s what one woman told me. She was trying to decide whether she should make a certain trip or not. I said, “Well…pray about it.”
She said, “I don’t think God cares if I go or not.”
I said, “It’s not that He’s going to zap you for making the wrong decision. I just mean that He might give you some wisdom about the decision.”
I realize not everyone thinks like that. I just really want God’s wisdom in everything.
Someone told me, “You’re the kind of guy who probably stands in front of his closet and says, ‘God, what should I wear today?’” I said, “No…but some people SHOULD do that.”
I got to thinking, “Why DO I think this way? Why do I want God’s wisdom so much?
First let me say that I don’t just sit around and do nothing until I get hit by lightning from heaven.
But my thinking is rooted in Romans 12:2 where it talks about discerning God’s will…His good and acceptable, pleasing, and perfect will. I want that. I want to live within God’s will, His parameters, His guidelines. I want to build my life on a solid foundation, with good life-construction principles.
How to do that? That same verse, Romans 12:2, talks about being transformed by the renewing of our mind.
Let me just share with you all of Romans 12 verses 1 and 2, in the NIV since that’s where I first memorized it: “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 your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I want God’s will for my life, my family, my work, everything. How can I get it? According to Romans 12:1 and 2, I offer my body as a living sacrifice to God.
Here’s something I do each morning when I roll out of bed. I take a knee, point a finger toward heaven and say, “Reporting for duty, Sir.” That is me offering up my body once again as a living sacrifice. “Lord, I’m all Yours. I’m all in.”
Then I seek to follow Him, and not the ways of the world, and in the process He is renewing my mind. And through all of this, it says, I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.
Then I got to thinking, “Why is Romans 12: 1 and 2 so foundational in my life.”
And I got to thinking about the Christian Campus House at Eastern Illinois University. When my wife and I were dating we decided to go there and take their discipleship class. The head of that ministry was Roger Songer and he had us memorize Romans 12:1-2 among others.
Out of all the Bible, why do I operate out of Romans 12:1-2 so often? It’s because Roger Songer emphasized it in his discipleship class.
So here I am, decades later, taking a knee each morning, offering up my body as a living sacrifice to God. My heart is more passionate for God’s will than ever before, and I hope I’m having a positive, Godly, spirit-refreshing influence on everyone I come in contact with. And some of the credit for any good I’ve done has to go back to Roger Songer and his influence in those influential days.
It reminds me of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George Bailey wished he had never been born and his wish was granted. Clarence the angel then showed George what the world would look like if he had never been born, and it was quite a bit worse.
Finally, Clarence said to George, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Yes, each of our lives touches so many others, and that’s why our decisions are so important. We don’t know how the future will be changed by our decisions.
This is why I want God’s will so much. I don’t know the future, and I don’t know the best thing to do. But God does, and that’s why I daily offer myself up to Him as a living sacrifice and seek His wisdom.
Maybe you don’t think God cares whether you go on that trip or not, but I still say, “Pray about it,” because your decisions are making a difference in every life you come in contact with.
May God bless you today.
I’m Doug Apple.