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"Therefore I exhort you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—living, holy, and pleasing 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, so that you may approve what the will of God is, that which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2) The word 'mind' there is the same one that appears in the scriptures where Jesus reminds us of the 'greatest commandment' that we are to love GOD with everything we are, heart, soul, mind and strength. It is the Greek word 'dianoia' that uses the word for the 'conscious mind,' (Biblical Greek: 'nous'), and 'deepens' it with the prefix 'dia-' making it our 'deep mind' (what we call our 'subconscious'). We can 'offer up' this part of ourselves as a 'living sacrifice' which GOD desires more than He desires that we surrender our physical lives in defense of His gospel. In fact, dying is often 'easier' than living and 'continually sacrificing' the connections to other people that we have through our subconscious. What are they? Well if you look everywhere in scripture where this word is actually used, it always involves individual people joining larger social movements, ambitions and visions. Whether they are purely cultural, economic, political, philosophical, or religious, they connect us with other people across the generations. They are what we generally call 'legacies.' Often this is directly how we find or develop a 'personal identity.' Without these, 'secular' people have no identity at all. Specifically, they are based in race, ethnicity, birth or social class, cultural traditions, gender, educational level, or intelligence type. How do I know? These are the examples given in the following verses for all of the identities that we 'sacrifice' in order to be 'one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:10-11). This is the source of our 'thanksgiving.' We are delivered from enslavement to these 'identities' which each carry huge burdens of historical guilt, hatred, social expectations, peer pressure, economic responsibilities, partisan political stances and activities, educational requirements and various other forms of 'due paying.' GOD receives the 'thanksgiving and praise' as part of the overall 'sacrifice' represented by our ongoing decision to abandon these identities and all related roles, activities, obligations and also any 'rewards' for our service to these secular 'callings.' Interestingly, any of these are also viewed by GOD as the 'evil pleasures and lusts' we harbor that keep our prayers from being answered by Him, (James 4:1-4). They make us 'friends of the world' rather than 'friends of GOD.' That is because they are each an evil form of 'bias' and GOD is impartial. That is actually the meaning of 'GOD is One' and why we are told that we can trust Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. He doesn't have any 'secret hidden' agendas favoring any of the above 'groups.' If we do, we aren't going to be 'heard.' We must sacrifice any vain pleasures or fulfilled lusts we might enjoy from choosing sides on race, ethnicity, class warfare, gender wars, culture wars, education wars, or by siding with the supposedly 'smart' over the supposedly 'stupid' (or vice versa). They always seem so inviting and even justifiable. Satan makes sure of that. But they just go round and round forever destroying as they go. The only truly 'righteous' path is to acknowledge them ALL, (without a single exception), and 'sacrifice' them ALIVE to Jesus Christ. Scripture says this is our 'reasonable spiritual service,' (Romans 12:1), given what Christ Himself has sacrificed for us to give us this chance. "...but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7).
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