“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God―this is your spiritual act of worship. 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.”
If our hearts are going to truly surrender to God, we must be willing to allow God to define good and evil and shape us according to His will. We must be willing, not only to do what is right, but to let God define what is right. Good is whatever God desires, evil is whatever God prohibits.
At first, conforming may simply be an act of the will. We may obey God, not necessarily because we want to, but because we may know we should. However, if we are faithful in surrendering our will to God, over time we will soon begin wanting to obey. [William] Law said, “When you love that which God loves, you act with Him, you join yourself to Him, and when you love what He dislikes, then you oppose Him and separate yourself from Him.”
This is why it is so spiritually debilitating to ever willfully rebel against God. Obedience and disobedience are both habitual. Our appetites and passions are like our taste buds-we crave what we grow used to. To experience true surrender, we must die to our own desires so that God can give us new desires.
When God birthed thanksgiving in my heart, my purest cry was simply, “God I want to be on your side.”
Consider this beautiful doxology recorded by Paul in Romans 11:34-36: “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
Paul’s amazing confidence in God shines forth throughout history and has affected innumerable generations. No matter what happened to Paul, he had faith in God. He trusted that God’s wisdom and power far outclassed his own.
Which is why Paul admonished, “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).
As Paul, whenever anything happens in your life, it is an opportunity to worship God. You have a choice. Either you will turn away from God because you blame your troubles on Him, or you will turn to God and cling to Him.
Your life can be a song of worship to the God who loves you and has a perfect plan for your life. He is wise and full of love for you.
Will you depend on God for every area of your life? Will you trust His hand in the most difficult circumstances? Will you reject His ways or sing His praise?
July 2001 In Touch page 27