En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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A Living and Holy Sacrifice! By Guest Blogger Dave Stallings

Posted by Scott on March 12, 2008

by Dave Stallings

“I urge you therefore, 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, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1, 2).

It’s 5:15 in the morning and I am still awake from the pain in my back from the cancer lesion that was removed from my back yesterday morning. They said that I would experience some pain after the local numbing medication wore off and they were right. I am, indeed, wide awake, and unable to sleep from that experience, however it seems to be yet another opportunity in my life to allow God to be glorified. I cannot, on my own, endure the difficulties that go on in my defective “tent” so I sit here at my laptop, attempting to present my body, as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God…”  and allow Him to minister to my needs even now at another inconvenient time. And as the scripture says, Paul reminds us to NOT be “…conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds”.

I have seen that over the past 3 years now, nothing outshines God in my life, nothing is more important and nothing is capable of “calming” my mind and spirit the way that just thinking of God is able to do. So I think of God a lot in these times. “…being transformed” and “…renewing my mind” makes me think that I am, daily getting closer to God and farther from the securities (or perhaps insecurities) of this world. I seem to be reminded every day, by something that this world is not our home and I am simply just passing through. This is the thought process that helps us shake off the fears of life and know that our God is preparing us for an eternity in the presence of His Glory. Makes me wonder how it is that others can endure some of life’s hardships without His Spirit residing in them.

The passage of scripture goes on to say “…so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE and PERFECT.” It is words from God like that which take me all the way back to the beginning when God created this world for us and He said, upon completion of each event that “it was good” (Genesis 1). Can you look at a “thorn in your flesh” this morning and see that it is good? If you can, then perhaps you are being transformed and renewed in mind and spirit by the only force that can give you true peace. After all, isn’t true peace what we are all looking for in this life? Paul says earlier in Romans that he is “…not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Ro. 1:16). Are you listening close enough to God to have the power to be transformed and renewed, in spite of the difficult and sometimes, near impossible situations in this life? Next Thursday I get the opportunity to have another PET SCAN for the Lymphoma and I really expect the cancer to still be sleeping. I believe that God has done that for me. He can do that for you, too. Take the time, each day to be transformed and renewed, and know that God is the only tool you need.

About the Author
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Dave Stallings lives in Phoenix , Arizona with his wife of 36 years, Barbara, who also suffers a serious chronic illness, and their dog, Captain Jack…along with their kids and grand kids ! Dave is a semi-retired pastor and loves to blog on his personal web page since being diagnosed with Stage IV incurable non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma almost three years ago now and his motto is “It is what it is and God is not surprised”…. His personal testimony can be read at http://www.nowwhut.org/ and he can be reached by email at mailto:dstallings2@qwest.net
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www.nowwhut.org

www.nowwhataz.blogspot.com

dstallings2@qwest.net

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