“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is holy and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:1-2ESV
For eleven chapters, the apostle Paul gives us beautiful theology. Tells us what God does to bring us back to Himself. It’s all about God. Now, he transitions and tells us what we need to do…what the regenerate and redeemed are to do. Did you catch it in the verse above?? We, believers, are to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice.
There’s a lot we can say here regarding this carnal body that our redeemed soul still resides in and the struggles with sin. Paul talks about it in depth in Romans 6-7. But, that’s not the point of this blog…not entirely anyway. You have to start somewhere though and interestingly enough; if you progress in what you do initially, you will, by the mercies of God, present yourself as a living sacrifice that God will use.
The key at the start and continuously after is…Surrender. By grace, through faith, we are saved (Eph 2). Our will, once bent and enslaved by sin, is surrendered to our Sovereign God through His call. Unfortunately, that is where we stayed for so long. We had faith and had surrendered our lives to Jesus, but we hadn’t fully surrendered everything to Him. Too much of our lives were under our control, or so we thought. We tried to maneuver and control many facets and yet were living frustrated.
For us, the more that God stripped from our lives and the more we subsequently surrendered to Him; the easier it was to know His will. The easier it was to follow Him anywhere. The more we dove into his Word and lived off of it like the Bread of Life (John 6); the more we knew who God is and our need to surrender more of ourselves. We desired to surrender more. We are seeing it over and over again. Surrender brings peace…surrender brings contentment…surrender is what God calls for. Remember the First Commandment, “I am the LORD your God…You shall have no other gods before me.” That includes yourself. Jesus tells his disciples in Matt 16, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Losing your life equals surrender.
Sanctification is progressive. The more that we are sanctified, the more we look like Jesus. Sanctification is directly correlated to “Surrender”. The more you surrender to Jesus, the more He controls your life. The more He controls of your life, the more you are like Him.
What part of your life do you need to Surrender to Jesus?? What has you frustrated?? Fearful?? Anxious?? Depressed?? Out of your control?? Unsatisfied?? Surrender it Jesus. Focused on self with either low or high self esteem…die to self, surrender to Jesus. He is the Creator of the universe and He conquered the grave. I’m confident He can handle whatever you’ve got going on and are failing to handle.