Monday, February 8, 2016

Do Not Conform to the World - Part 2

Romans 12:2-3 “Do not conform any longer 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.  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

The second part of verse two says, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Although I grew up going to church, I wasn’t concerned about God’s plan for my life.  After my parent’s divorced, I stopped going to church and grounded my feet in the world.  Most of you know my story so let me cut to the chase.  I lived a life that catered to the desires of my flesh.

I often look back at those days and still see God’s hand in my life, although I didn’t ask for His help.  He certainly led me to my husband.  We met on the other side of the world in Korea – not a chance meeting in my opinion.

Rick was not the type of person I thought I would marry.  He was confident and from a different world than the one I knew.  That was a big part of my attraction to him.  We both believed in God and thought that was all we needed.

So wrapped up in the world as a young married couple, Rick and I sought fun and adventure.  When our children came along, reality turned our world upside down.  We didn’t know how to thrive, together, with these additional responsibilities.  

At one point, I thought I married the wrong person; I truly believed I had made a mistake.  That’s how the old enemy gets us, though, by whispering lies into our minds.  He wants to destroy marriages.  Had I listened to him, I would have ruined an amazing family. 

I sometimes shudder when I think of how I almost threw my marriage away. Thanks to God, He wouldn’t allow me to easily walk away from it, though.  He had a plan for Rick and me, but we needed to be together to see it unfold.

The moment I turned my life to God, transformed myself by renewing my mind, my life changed.  I may never have done that had I not gone through the devastation of a failing marriage or the experience of being the child of a broken home.  A big factor in keeping me from divorce was my own children.  I did not want them to experience the pain that I had known after my own parents divorced.

It wasn’t until I turned my life over to God, and I began to renew my mind, that I could clearly see God’s plan unfolding for my life.  We can’t recognize that plan unless we are walking with Him every day, listening to what He has to say, and applying it to our lives.  We have to know God to be able to “test and approve” His will for us - His “good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I have to tell you, I don’t EVER want to go back to the way things were when I “lived in the world.”  I made such a mess of my life and almost destroyed my family.  With God in front, I know I am walking the right path for my life.  I am fulfilling the reason that He put me on this planet.

Now, there is no doubt in my mind that Rick and I were meant to be together.  God gave me the desire to marry him regardless of the trials we would face.  The trials were a necessary part of the transformation.   God knew that if we worked through those trials we would become stronger. We would become the people He desired us to be all along, and then He could use us to fulfill His plan for our lives.  What an amazing journey it has been!

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