PATTERNS, PITFALLS AND PATHWAYS

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, (because of everything I have told you so far) 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. 2 Do not conform to the patterns 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.

The first 11 chapters of Romans are written to individuals about their relationship with Jesus.  In these chapters, the apostle Paul has wreaked havoc on the religious world order by declaring that it’s not be your good works that you get heaven or a relationship with God, but it’s by grace through faith.

Then in chapter 12 Paul turns his attention to what this personal relationship with Jesus looks like when it is lived out.  He turns from the personal, vertical aspect of our relationship with God, to the horizontal, relational aspect of what it means to be a Christian and be part of a church, to be a Christian and be part of a community, to be a Christian and be part of the world.  

There are three parts to this verse

1. WHAT God is asking us to do this Summer?

He’s asking us to engage intentionally.  

2. This is an action that we must do.

James 4:8 if you draw near to me, I will draw near to you.   

Drawing near, or presenting yourself means to put yourself within advantageous proximity to Him.

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3. Paul says not to conform to patterns of your humanity

Today I want to give you some good news.  Most of the issues in your life are patterns.   They follow a familiar track.  

I always thought of the patterns of this world as sin patterns and all its temptations to draw us into it, but these patterns aren’t necessarily sin, they can be just patterns of our humanity.  

We all have patterns of behavior, patterns of emotions, patterns of reactions, every culture has patterns, and your family of origin has patterns, things that always happened in cycles or as a response to certain situations.

Paul says if you are going to be transformed and not conform you need to be aware of your patterns.

What are yours?

In life, New roads are never taken or created sticking to the grooves that have been made through previous travel

WHY is it important for us to do it?

If you are transformed and not conformed you will discover Gods will for your life easily.  

Romans 12 says; "Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good pleasing and perfect will"

Paul makes a link between finding God’s will, and whether or not you are conformed or transformed.  

  • This cycle may have been created by your family upbringing.  

  • It may have come because of decisions you made in your past.  

  • It may come because that is what the culture you live in dictates to you.

SO HOW DO YOU WIN?

  1. You recognize there are patterns to everything that control your life

  2. You recognize your patterns.  

  3. You don’t conform to their pull.

It’s time to recognize the patterns.  Generational patterns, patterns of thinking, patterns of speaking, patterns of the devil in your life.


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