I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.d
~ Romans 12:1-2
The clever sign in the photograph, from a humble country church, depicts the struggle between Satan and God for our souls as a custody battle. As anyone knows who has watched (or been a party to) a divorce involving children, custody battles can become really, truly nasty. Any attorney who practices litigation will tell you, practicing divorce law takes skin as thick as rhinoceros hide. The parents may have never been home and hardly have seen the children when they were married, but once the marriage ends, these same children can become the entire center of existence for even the most negligent parent!
God, however, is our Father and has never been negligent. If we think of Him as one parent fighting for custody of our souls, and Satan (or the world, which he rules) as the other, it pretty well describes the situation we find ourselves in. In this case, however, the court is going to let the children decide. Most of us choose joint custody! We may truly love our Father, who has our real long-term interest at heart, but Satan bribes us with all sorts of cool toys.
God has told us that He does not want joint custody; He wants 100% of us. It is a frightening and seemingly impossible task for most people, because we are so attached to the immediate things of this world: our pride, our possessions, our comfort. But never doubt that God is the one who loves us and will give us a home forever.
Growing in faith is, seen from one perspective, a constant movement towards Romans 12. We may never be perfect, but it makes God happy when we spend our lives moving closer and closer to him, making the things of this world ever less important in our lives and our relationship with Him more so.
Lord, today let me take one step away from belonging to this world, and one step closer to You. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer