1. Present Your Body as a Living Sacrifice
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” –Romans 12:1
When you’re born again, you are no longer a slave to sin. You can choose to be, but you don’t have to be. That’s what becoming a living sacrifice means. It involves being willing to give up activities, friends or habits that don’t match God’s best for your life—walking away from anything that is not pleasing to the Lord. It means making a daily decision to obey God’s Word and do what He says, rather than what the world says.
2. Do Not Be Conformed to This World
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” –Romans 12:2
Do people know you’re a Christian? Even more, do they know you live differently than they do? If you’re watching the same media, handling marriage troubles the same way, gossiping, deep in debt, and just as sick as they are—what’s the difference? If you’re cranky, sad, frustrated and stressed—why would they want what you have?
If you want to live in God’s perfect will, you’ll guard your heart, obey God’s laws even when it’s tough, and let the Holy Spirit fill you until no one around you can help but ask what it is that gives you peace, joy and hope.
. Renew Your Mind
“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” –Romans 12:2
That word transformed is the same word used in Matthew 17, where it says: Jesus was transfigured. When He was transfigured, the glory of God inside Him—in His spirit—shone forth through His flesh and clothing. This is how He was transfigured. When you renew your mind by mediating on the Word of God and letting it get down in your spirit, it changes you in that same way. You become transfigured. The Word of God separates you from the things of the world and sin, and it changes the way you choose to live.
For more tips, see The 7 Habits of Strong Christians here.
4. Don’t Think So Highly of Yourself
“Don’t think you are better than you really are.” –Romans 12:3
How can you recognize if you think you’re better than other people? If you’re quick to judge or quick to criticize—those are the main symptoms of a proud heart.
Thinking that everything you do is right and that everyone should do it just like you is thinking too highly of yourself. That means if you judge others in their parenting, or for what they choose to eat or drink, or what types of media they consume—you have a proud spirit. Make those decisions for yourself, but don’t assume to decide that others should do exactly the same.
5. Use Your Gifts by Faith
“God has given us different gifts.” –Romans 12:6
Each of us has different gifts! And no one person can do it all—we all need each other equally. So, appreciate the gifts of others, and don’t be jealous. One person’s success does not equal your failure. Helping others succeed in their calling and building others up is one of the most fulfilling things you can do.
Find your place in God’s house, and don’t despise what you perceive to be the “lowly” acts of service. They will qualify you for greater places of responsibility if you serve with faithfulness and humility.
6. Don’t Be a Hypocrite
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” –Romans 12:9
Are you the kind of person who acts like someone’s friend, but turns around and gossips about him or tears him down? That’s love with hypocrisy—it’s phony, or what we call two-faced—and it is displeasing to the Lord. To obey God and walk in love toward others, you aren’t just nice to people to their faces, you’re loving and kind toward them even when they aren’t around.
7. Hate What Is Evil
“Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” –Romans 12:9 (NIV)
Don’t make excuses for abortion, homosexuality, divorce or any other sin. While we love people, we are instructed to hate those things God says are evil and cling (hold tightly) to what is good (righteous, godly). We do this in our conversations, in our choice of media, and in the voting booth, even if it means we are shunned or villainized for our beliefs.
8. Honor Others Above Yourself
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” –Romans 12:10
We live in a “me first” society. Everyone seems to be clawing for the first place in line, the best seat in the movie theater, and compliments from the boss. But that self-centered attitude is not in line with the will of God for your life. Make it a point to honor others above yourself. In doing so, you’ll find yourself blessed beyond measure and in line for the greatest honor there is—that which comes from God.
9. Don’t Be Lazy
“Never be lazy, but work hard….” –Romans 12:11
Physical diligence at work is the path to a great reward, but this is speaking of spiritual diligence. To love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength takes zeal! To love others is work, and to seek God with all your heart requires daily diligence. Don’t be lazy! There is great reward for those who work hard in spiritual things.
10. Be Fervent in Spirit
“Keep your spiritual fervor.” –Romans 12:11 (NIV)
The Greek word for fervent means “boiling.” Your spirit can be boiling over with a passion for the things of God. Refuse to be indifferent about the lost around you or the wickedness in your nation. Take a fervent stand, and let your passion for God and His ways be the most powerful part of who you are.
11. Rejoice in Hope
“Be joyful in hope….” –Romans 12:12 (NIV)
No matter what is going on your life—you always have hope. Jesus came to give you that hope, and He is the answer to every problem you face. That’s a reason to rejoice! There is great power toward breaking loose when you choose to rejoice in the Lord always—again, rejoice!
12. Be Patient in Tribulation
“…patient in tribulation….” –Romans 12:12 (KJV)
Kenneth Copeland often says that “faith and patience are the power twins.” You can’t have one without the other. If you want to see a manifestation of God’s promises in your life, patience is the vehicle that will take you to the finish line.
13. Be Fervent in Prayer
“…continuing steadfastly in prayer….” –Romans 12:12 (NKJV)
When you’ve prayed and prayed about a situation and haven’t seen a change, it’s easy to want to give up. But don’t! Continue steadfastly in prayer. There’s a reason we’re told to do so over and over.
14. Give to Other Christians
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.” –Romans 12:13 (NIV)
Be on the lookout for believers who need what you have available to share. Whether it’s money, babysitting, lawn care, a ride somewhere, or just a word of encouragement—determine that you won’t let a brother or sister in the Lord go without what they need if you can help it.
15. Bless Those Who Persecute You
“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” –Romans 12:14
Being kind to people who have hurt us is one of the most challenging decisions we have to make as believers. Don’t wait to feel like it! Make a decision. If they need help—help them. If they are sick—take them soup. Say only kind words to them, and pray for them.
16. Stand by Others
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” –Romans 12:15 (NKJV)
When someone is going through a difficult season, resist the urge to ask, “What can I do?” The answer will almost always come back, “Nothing.” Instead, simply look for ways to be a help. Buy them groceries, bring them a meal, take their kids to the zoo, hire them a housekeeper, or mow their lawn. Be intentional in showing empathy (not pity). That is how to weep with those who weep.
On the other hand, rejoice when those around you have reason to do the same! You may find yourself in a difficult place in your own life and celebrating may be a stretch, but don’t let that stop you from giving others the support they so dearly need.
17. Pursue Unity With Christians
“Live in harmony with each other.” –Romans 12:16
Small doctrinal differences should not divide us from one another. Make unity, not legalism or criticism, your aim. Grace and love are what lead people in the right direction—not guilt and condemnation.
18. Do Not Be Arrogant
“Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” –Romans 12:16 (NIV)
Don’t get stuck in your own clique! Spend time with those who are of different backgrounds, races, ages, positions and economic statuses. You’ll find having a variety of people in your life will bless you more than you could have ever imagined.
19. Don’t Think You Know It All
“Do not be wise in your own opinion.” –Romans 12:16 (NKJV)
No one is ever 100% right! The truths of the Bible require revelation and Holy Spirit anointing. Consider that you may not see a matter in every way God intended. Some things are clear and indisputable, but for those that aren’t, have enough humility to know that you don’t know it all.
20. Don’t Get Back at People
“Never pay back evil with more evil.” –Romans 12:17
What does it mean to repay evil for evil? When someone lashes out with harsh words, you lash back. When someone steals an opportunity, you seek to undercut them in another way. When someone does you wrong—don’t respond by lashing back. Obey God and you’ll see favor surround you like a shield.
21. Behave Honorably
“Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.” –Romans 12:17
Everything described in Romans 12 is how to behave honorably. Humility; showing others kindness and respect, empathy, encouragement; and refusing to lash out at those who mistreat us. That is honorable living.
22. Live in Peace With Everyone
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” –Romans 12:18 (NIV)
You can’t choose how others treat you, but you can certainly choose how you respond. Make sure your words and actions foster peace above all else.
23. Do Not Avenge Yourself
“Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.” –Romans 12:19
What should we do instead? Verse 20 tell us, “Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Find A 6-Step Guide to Responding to Your Enemies here.
24. Overcome Evil With Good
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” –Romans 12:21
There is freedom in doing what’s right, and when you choose to respond kindly when someone does evil, you’ll keep your power of position and be in the will of God—the safest, most prosperous place to be.
Find A Confession to Stay in the Will of God here.
When you practice these 24 ways to stay in the will of God from Romans 12, you will stay in the will of God and be in position to receive every good and perfect gift. Don’t be discouraged if you have quite a few to work on (we all do!); just set your heart on things above, let God correct you, and rejoice in your progress. Then, watch as doors that have been jammed shut swing right open.