Time to SURRENDER
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2, The Message)
There’s a word missing in society today, a word that seems to invoke fear instead of reverence. That word is COMMITMENT. I write it loud and proud. There is a lack of commitment to relationships, marriages, families, and friends. There is a lack of commitment to church: as we are reduced to just Sunday morning Christians. There is even a lack of commitment to evangelism because fewer believers seem to witness the miracle worker, the heart-fixer and mind-regulator of the Most High God who sits high and looks low. No wonder why the Apostle Paul calls us All to: Surrender your body; Surrender your mind; and Surrender your will. And to be honest, surrendering takes commitment!
THIS TEXT IS A PASSIONATE PLEA FROM THE APOSTLE to do just that! The King James Version of our text is “I beseech you therefore, brethren:” which translates “I beg of you, please”. Apostle Paul pleads with his readers to present their bodies to God by the mercies of God” and God’s faithfulness to us for graces and mercy to follow all the days of our lives should move us to respond to this call of surrender.
In case this infinite-power-not-only-in-the-sky-but-everywhere-God, is a new concept, the words I write may make one ask, “How do we know God is interested in our bodies for us to surrender to Him?” No problem, I can answer that but my friends, I warn you, I’m going to have to take you to somewhere we call “Sunday School!”
Let’s break down the creation of the body from the book of Genesis (1, 2:1-7, and 21-22) in terms we can digest, regurgitate and witness. It is a great work of Creation because God speaks and light appears; God speaks and the earth and seas are formed; God speaks and the earth becomes fruitful and populated by animals. Yet, the creation of man was different. ‘Man’ was created from the dust of the ground. Humans are called for special care by the Creator since we are His masterpiece! The creation of woman occurred from the rib of Adam. The characteristics of our bodies were given to fulfill God’s plan. Christ chose a body as His vehicle of redemption.
So, it is “by the mercies of God”: love, grace, and salvation that attention should be given to the care of our bodies. “Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20, The Message)The believer’s body is the temple of God. This demands respect and care for our bodies. The believer’s body belongs to the Lord. Some of us are more concerned about care for the church building than for the care of our bodies. Church buildings are but meeting places.
Our bodies are “the dwelling place of God”. This ought to determine what we take into our bodies and how we care for them. We are saved by grace and can shorten our lives by mistreating our bodies. Tobacco won’t send us to hell but may harm our bodies. Alcohol won’t send us to hell but can ruin our health. Gluttony won’t send us to hell but it is a major killer of our hearts.
This text is a call to surrender your mind. The New King James Version puts it familiarly, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”.I’m sure this type of surrendering of the mind renders the question, “How?” It’s an understandable query with there being so much competition today for our minds. What I mean by that is there is so much to read: books, newspapers, and let’s not even get started talking about social media - the internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the list goes on. There is so much to see: tv, videos, and computers. Moreover, there is so much to learn. Yet, Daniel prophesied this type of knowledge explosion.
So, how? How do we renew our minds? We begin by tuning out negative information; By spending time being quiet before God; By developing a consistent devotional life; By focusing on Bible promises and rejoicing in them; By applying what we learn to our everyday lives so that the Bible teaching brings spiritual growth which is a commitment to our faith.
Finally, my friends, this text is a call to surrender our will to that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God because our stubborn will craves satisfaction in the world. Our will is bent on pleasure - the lust of the flesh, bent on possessions - the lust of the eyes, and bent on self-exaltation - the pride of life. (I John 2:15-17) We must focus on God and remind ourselves the world and its lusts are passing away.
The insatiable satisfaction we seek is fulfilled when our will is surrendered to God. We must remind ourselves there is going to be a coming resurrection of our bodies (I Cor. 15:51-52) where God is going to bring our bodies out of their graves. Christ came out of the bodily grave to guarantee our resurrection. The grave of a believer is a place of anticipation, not finality! At the Resurrection, we will be like Jesus (I John 3) so we are to present our bodies to Christ as living sacrifices. This type of commitment calls for complete surrender. We are to keep our bodies morally clean. We are to regard our bodies as Holy and acceptable to God.
Surrendering - it’s a lot or, so it seems. Yet, I cannot fathom it being worse or more than sacrificing your life to save a dying world like Jesus. My friends, how strong is your commitment to God? Are you willing to surrender all to Him? I will remind some, inform others and mortify many when I say, presenting our bodies to God is the intelligent thing to do and it’s our reasonable service. Don’t let a word like commitment sabotage your blessings. Surrender it all to the Most High God today.
In His Service With Love,
Reverend D.A. Whitney is the founder of Blessed 4 Life Ministries (B4LM), host of “Let’s Be Blunt With The Rev” and co-host of “Chatting With The Whitney’s” on Impact Radio USA @ https://pod.co/blessed-4-life-ministries he is the author of several books including “Overcoming Principalities”. The Rev can be contacted at www.blessed4lifeministries.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org