Rev. Margaret Minnicks facilitated a workshop on Friday for Love Lifted Me Ministries in Richmond, Virginia where the pastors are Rev. DeWayne Landrum and Rev. Sherry Landrum. It was during a Women's Conference that Rev. Minnicks did a detailed teaching on "transformation" based on their theme "Women, Transformed by the Power of God" based on Romans 12:1-2.
The associate minister from New Canaan Worship Center first explained that Paul gave doctrine to live by in the first eleven chapters of Romans, but in chapter 12 he gave instructions for living a changed life. He said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).
God commands us to offer an acceptable living sacrifice unlike the killing animals as in the Old Testament. The sacrifice God accepts today is a living one. Romans 12:1 names the acceptable sacrifice: our bodies.
The preacher explained that Paul was specific that before attempting to work in the kingdom of God, we tend to put the cart before the horse. If we are to do effective service for God, we need to reverse the order. God wants us to offer ourselves before we offer our services.
The preacher gave five reasons God wants us to present our bodies instead of something else.
1. Everyone has a body. That is the one thing we all have in common.
2. The body represents the whole person in the physical setting.
3. The body is the vehicle through which we operate.
4. The body is the agent of sin.
5. When we sacrifice our body on the altar, it becomes an instrument of holiness.
Romans 12:2 says, “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.”
The obvious mistake people make when it comes to transformation is to go directly to the second part of Romans 12:2. They start with "the renewing of the mind" part. However, transformation takes place by beginning at the beginning and following all the steps in the proper order.
Four steps to effective transformation:
1. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.
2. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
3. Then test what God's will is.
4. Finally, approve what God's will is.
When you do these things, you will establish a relationship with God. That relationship will result in a change of mind; one that is always focused on God. And when your mind is focused on God, then your whole life will be transformed.
The word "transformation" comes from the Greek word “metamorphoo” where we get our English word "metamorphosis." Two good examples of metamorphosis are the tadpole into a frog and the caterpillar into a butterfly.
If you want a change in your life, you must first present your body to God, and then change your mind and no longer conform to what the world is doing.