Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to [once for all] offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God―this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed A 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. (Romans 12:1-20 NIV)
A —The Greek word is “metamorphoo “from which we get the English word “metamorphous” — “to change into another form”
The butterfly is an ideal picture of the new birth in Christ. Here’s a creature that starts life as a caterpillar, but then a metamorphous [changes into another form] takes place that transforms him into a thing of rare beauty and grace. Notice that the new butterfly is the same creature it was before it spun the cocoon. It wasn’t replaced with different insect. The same creature that enclosed itself within the cocoon is the same one that came out.
What was once a caterpillar has a new outward appearance. However, that’s not all that happened. The change it experienced was radical. The caterpillar was totally transformed. It no longer crawls on its belly on the ground beneath the feet of most every other creature; it now flies! I
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2Corinthians 5:17)
Much the same thing happens to a person who repents [ask for forgiveness for their sins] and gives their life to Christ. The Holy Spirit begins to transform him or her into something new that’s different and beautiful. The new believer’s value system and goals begin to change. They begin to lose their taste for the garbage that this world’s system offers. The days of crawling on their spiritual bellies begins to give way to grand ideals, powerful living and a positive outlook on life. They are the same person they were before, but, now, they’re “a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Have you ever wrestled with finding God’s will is for your life? I think we all have. Have you ever thought, “I wonder if there’s some method that will help me to determine God’s will for my life?” Let me answer that question with three words—yes, yes, and YES!
Over the years I’ve discovered that finding God’s will is not meant to be a mystery. God doesn’t play games with his children. Jesus doesn’t say, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me,” (John 10:27) and then garble the message and make it so hard to understand that the sheep [you and I] can’t follow his instructions.
Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (1Corinthians 14:8)
How effective would the war against America’s enemies be if the president, the supreme commander of the military, seldom communicated with our armed forces? Or when he did decide to speak, his generals had to fast and pray, or give large sums of money, or give all of their possessions away before the president give them their marching orders. Then when he finally did issue orders they were so unclear that the Joint Chiefs could not understand them. Imagine directing massive troop deployment across the world without a clear word from the Commander-in-Chief?
“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” — Jesus (John 10:2-4)
God is our Commander-in-Chief and his instructions are very understandable. You see, the problem isn’t with God’s communication skills. God speaks very clearly. The difficulty is not with the transmitter [the Holy Spirit], it’s the receiver, our spiritual ear, that’s the problem. The trouble is with us and our inability to hear clearly from God and then find out what his will is for our lives. Our spiritual radios are not fine-tuned to Channel Holy Spirit or we don’t hear him clearly.
Now the question is this: how do we fine-tune our receiver? It’s simple; you must follow the instructions on “receiver-tuning’ found in manual—God’s Word.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10)
What are the instructions on how to find God’s will? How do we fine tune our radios so we can hear God’s voice more clearly and know his will for our lives? First, we must be doing the will of God as it’s clearly revealed in God’s WORD before we will be able to know God’s will for our personal lives. In other words, do what The Bible clearly teaches us to do and the rest will be simple.
Just do the following seven things which are plainly pointed out in The Bible. Start obeying these seven fundamental commands from God. Then you will begin to discover God’s plan for your life. Now once you have these seven commands in place, you can then do the eight. This is the easiest one of all. Do anything you want to do as long as you’re doing the first seven things.
Are you ready? Here goes:
1- It is God’s will that you be saved/born again.
“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” ─Jesus (John 3:7)
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:3-4)
2- It is God’s will that you be baptized/filled with the Holy Spirit.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one [Jesus] who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” ─John the Baptizer (Matthew 3:11)
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22)
Being baptized by the Holy Spirit is a separate act apart from salivation. Notice this; when the disciples were gathered in the upper room they received the Holy Spirit, which is true salvation, when Jesus breathed on them.
However, the baptism of the Holy Spirit didn’t come until Acts chapter 2, about ten days after the disciples had already received the Holy Spirit from Jesus.
What is the purpose for being baptized in the Holy Spirit?
4 On one occasion, while he [Jesus] was eating with them [the disciples], he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power B when the Holy Spirit comes on you [not in you. That was already done. (Page 2, John 20:21-22)]; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-8)
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city [Jerusalem] until you have been clothed with power B from on high.“—Jesus (Luke 24:49)
B — The Greek word is “Dunamis”. It means, along with other things, “strength power, ability inherent power, power for performing miracles ,moral power and excellence of soul. It’s the word for which we get the English for the “dynamite”.
Again, what is the purpose of being baptized by the Holy Spirit? “…you will receive dynamite power when the Holy Spirit comes on; and you will be my witnesses… ”
Jesus wants us to have the power of the Holy Spirit in order to make us effective, powerful, witnesses to a lost world.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power B, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power B. — Paul (1Corinthians 2:4-5)
Take a glass and fill it with water. Now the class if filled with water. Drop the same glass in to a bucket filled with water and the glass is not only filled with water it is covered or baptized in water. The word baptize comes from the original Greek word “baptismos” which means to immerse, to submerge. That’s the difference between having the Holy Spirit and being immersed in Him.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
1 While Apollos [a great teacher, at the time of Paul] was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6)
3 – It is God’s will that we live a life that is separated from the wickedness of this world and set apart for his service.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified [sat apart to serve God]: that you should avoid sexual immorality. (I Thessalonians 4:3)
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. (I Peter 2:15)
For he chose us in him [Jesus] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)
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. (Romans 12:2)
4- It is God’s will that you praise and worship Him.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9)
5- It is God’s will that you live in fellowship with other believers.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another―and all the more as you see the Day [of Jesus’ return] approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
They [the early Church] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
But if we walk in the light, as he [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1John 1:7)
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” — Jesus (Matthew 18:20:20)
6 – It is God’s will that we regularly spend personal time with him through Bible study and prayer [talking with God].
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. (Psalms 110:9)
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.(Psalms 119:11)
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalms 5:3)
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God [God’s personally peace that he enjoys], which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts [seat of emotions] and your minds [your thought life] in Christ Jesus. ( Philippians 4:6-7)
7- It is God’s will that you tell others about Jesus and the salvation he offers.
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. (I Chronicles 16:8)
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (I Peter 3:15)
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples [find people to be trained, disciplined, instructed] of all nations [nationalities], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ─Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
Finally, and this is the simplest one of all
8- Do whatever you want to do as long you’re doing steps 1-7.
These are clear Biblical commands that God desires for us to follow. So, if you’ve repented and are truly born again [made a commitment of your life to Jesus], and have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And if you’re actively seeking these things—the fellowship of other believers, studying God’s Word, praying and sharing Christ with others. And if you’re spending time praising and worshiping God, then you’ve put your spiritual life on the fast track. God can then direct you onto the wonderful path that he designed for your life.
It’s much like driving a car. As long as it sits there motionless you can’t steer it anywhere. However, once it’s moving you can make it go wherever you want it to go. The life of a Christian in obedience to God’s WORD is much the same way. If you are not seeking to obey God in these seven areas, or if you’re being deliberately disobedient in any of them, you’ll remain virtually motionless―locked in a spiritual neutral. God can’t steer you to where he wants you to go if you are not moving. However, if you’re doing what the Bible tells you to do, pray, seek God, tell others about Jesus and so forth, you’ve started up your motor and you’re moving in the right direction. God can then take you where he wants you to go and show you the things he wants you to do. I. e know God’s will. In addition, having these seven things in place will reduce your chances of making wrong turns because your obedience puts God squarely in the driver’s seat of your life.
Pretty simple, huh? Well, that’s the way God meant it to be. Discovering his will is not meant to be some mystery for just a few select followers of Christ. It’s for all of us. It would be pretty ridiculous for Jesus to say, “Come follow me,” and then not tell us how to do it, wouldn’t it?