If we love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength (Deut. 6:5), it will encompass every aspect of our lives. If we want to get thinner or smarter, we should do it because as daughters of the King we should be the best we can be. If we want to better ourselves with cosmetics and well-put together outfits we should do it with the approval of our Heavenly Father. Our desire should be to draw people to Christ and not ourselves. This takes spiritual maturity (which is a process I'm learning slowly). "For in him we live and move and have our being," Acts 17:28.

Luke 16:13 says that we will serve only one of two masters. God or money (representing the world). Who is the master of the world? Satan. Our two options is either God or Satan. There is not a third option, which I've always thought there was, being myself. I thought that if I'm not serving God, or Satan, than I am serving myself. However we are born sinners and our flesh desires the things of this world, which are the opposite of the things of God. What we need to realize is, is when we become a Christ-follower, we become slaves to Christ, not slaves to the world anymore.

Romans 6:18-19 says, "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness."

This is a hard calling to live up to, but we are not supposed to be on our own with this. The Holy Spirit who resides in every born-again believer is supposed to be our guide, helper and comforter. Our struggle with learning to "live by the Spirit" is we too often ignores His leading and prompting, turning first to CNN or The Today Show before the Bible for our day's beginning.

This challenge to be more holy (completely devoted to God) is not just for you, but for me, too. The world looks appealing and attractive, but if we don't keep our focus on our Source for life when we die, Jesus will say, "I never knew you." (Matthew 7:23) It is serious business, and I hope you will begin surrendering to God in every area of your life; health, wealth, body image, thoughts, feelings, desires, family, friendships...

Final observation: God won't make you change. If you are just now deciding to become a Christ follower, know that He won't force you to give up everything at once, but rather take you on a gradual process (though there are exceptions). A change from ordinary to extraordinary, from chaos to peace, from despair to hope. God does ask a lot from us, but does not expect it to come from within ourselves, rather from HIM!

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