February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.”—Romans 12:1–2 (NIV)
According to renowned Christian thinker and author, Dallas Willard, our will is essentially our ability to make decisions and bring things into existence. When we talk about God’s will, then, we’re referring to His own desires and decisions. Because God is supremely holy, then we can know that His will is the same! Like the Scripture above says, His will is good, pleasing, and perfect.
If God’s will is perfect, and ours is not, then what do we do with that? Let’s think about a child and their parents. A child has his own will, but it can easily be misdirected because he doesn’t have the same knowledge or wisdom as his parents. As a result, if the child desires to eat cookies before dinner, his will is misleading him and might cause him to feel full before dinner. If he chooses to listen to his parents’ instructions about not eating the cookies, he surrenders is will to one that is better for him.
This is similar to what we get to do with our will and God’s will. Our heart, which is another way we refer to our will, can often mislead us or be selfish and prideful. We need to surrender our will to God’s so He can mold and shape ours to look more like His.
This is what Paul is talking about in today’s passage, which reminds of four things:
Our surrender is our worship!
When we surrender our lives to Christ, we’re offering Him the truest and sweetest form of worship. We honor Him when we give Him back what He made in the first place!
Our surrender makes us a living sacrifice, not a dead one!
The beauty of our sacrifice is that we’re dying to self to be made alive in Christ! When we surrender to Christ, we gain a truly abundant and meaningful life.
Our surrender opens us up to God’s transformation!
As Paul exclaimed, not conforming to the world, renewing our mind, and being transformed in our inner being comes as a result of willingly surrendering every part of our lives to His hand.
Our surrender will help us know His will better!
Finally, our surrender allows us to know and recognize His will more easily because we will better know His voice and His heart!
Surrender is all about releasing control of our lives and making it our goal to worship Him in continual obedience! This is why Jesus prayed this prayer before going to the cross, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” Luke 22:42 (ESV, emphasis added).
May this be our prayer today and every day!
Pause: Have you evaluated what kinds of decisions your will naturally leans toward? How can you surrender your will to Christ’s will today?
Practice: Think about your answer to the question above and a specific way you can surrender to God’s will today. Perhaps it looks like being extra generous with your time and money, or setting aside 30 minutes to be present with Him instead of doing more work.
Pray: Father, thank You for Your willingness to transform my heart as I surrender to you! I want to worship You in my sacrifice and surrender! Convict me of the areas I am withholding from You. Shape me more into Your image and draw me deeper into communion with You so I may recognize Your will more clearly. I surrender! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.