“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
Recently I’ve been thinking about how I can better live for the Lord. There are things that have taken place in the past several months, some big and some small, that have made wonder if I am really as “Christian” as I think I am.
I think many, myself included, believe that we have offered ourselves as “living sacrifices” to God, like it says in Romans. We say, “Have Thine way with me, O Lord,” but our actions speak a very different desire.
Have Thine way with me, unless it makes me uncomfortable.
Have Thine way with me, unless it threatens my social standing and opportunities.
Have Thine way with me, unless it means I have to give up a cherished sin.
Have Thine way with me, but within my own parameters.
There was a wealthy young man who approached Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered by listing several of the second portion of the Decalogue, to which the young man exclaims, “All these I have kept since my youth.”
“One thing you still lack,” said Jesus. “Go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Then come, follow me.”
The young man went away sorrowful, for he had many riches. (Luke 18:18-23)
Was this man’s problem that he was wealthy? No, his problem was where he had placed his heart’s treasures and desires. It was in his riches rather than in the giver of those riches, Christ Jesus. His being had cleaved to who he was socially and economically. He believed that his good works would warrant him entrance into heaven, but he obviously felt something was lacking because he sought out Christ to question him. When he was answered, he was saddened because instead of hearing what he wanted, he was told to let go of everything that he felt made him who he was.
He didn’t understand that Christ could have used his wealth, skills, and influence to further God’s salvation, thereby making him truly rich in the storehouses of heaven. If this young man had dedicated his heart, his being, his life to Christ, how much could have been accomplished for the gospel.
How many of us are this unnamed young man?
To truly be a Christian means a great amount of sacrifice. It means aligning our will with that of our Lord’s and allowing Him to direct us in service to those around us and to the furtherance of His gospel. Only then can we say “Have your way with me Lord,” and truly mean it from the bottom of our hearts.
To truly be a Christian means to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that we are able to recognize His voice and turn to the left or the right when He beckons us to. Our obsession with self has been released into sublime and perfect submission to our Creator who desires our good.
To truly be a Christian means to offer our lives to Christ for His purposes. He gave His life for our salvation, what less could we give than our lives for His glory?
It may seem impossible, but remember Romans 12 calls it “our reasonable service” because it is accomplished by the “mercies of God.” For nothing is impossible with God.
Will you gift God with your whole being today?
“I see before me today those whom I know God can use if they will put their dependence in Him…. It is an honor to follow the Saviour. And it is by obeying the instructions that He has given that you are to be prepared to meet Him when He comes. If you will ask God to help you to overcome what is un-Christlike in your dispositions, He will prepare you for entrance into heaven, where no sin can enter. Those who daily give the life to Jesus, and who follow on to know Him, will be greatly blessed. Say, Christ gave His life for me, and I must give my life for Him. If you give yourselves wholly to Him, you will be conquerors in the warfare against sin. The Lord Jesus will be your helper, your support, your strength, if you will receive and obey Him.” EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, June 9, 1914)
Praise God for who He is: faithful, omniscient, just, and more.
Praise God that He has been waiting so long for you to give Him your whole heart.
Thank God that He does not want just some of you but that He wants you with all talents and shortcomings.
Praise God for the ways He is teaching you to abide in Him.
Ask God to you which sins you need to confess to Him. Claim His victory over those sins.
Ask God for forgiveness if you have not been surrendering your heart to Him daily.
Ask God for forgiveness for times when you used your time, money, and talents for yourself and not for Him and His glory.
Ask God to take away anything that hinders you from surrendering your time, money, strength, abilities, fears, hopes, and will. Tell Him you want to belong wholly to Christ.
Ask that God will help you to pray like Jesus, “Not my will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42).
Does anything hinder you from giving Him your whole heart and being? Tell Him about those things. Ask Him to make you willing to surrender them.
Pray for your family members and friends who are not surrendered (fully) to Christ. Ask God to make them willing to surrender their whole being to Him.
Pray that your local pastor and church leaders will give God their whole being.
Pray for the young people of our church to find joy in surrendering their lives to Christ and following Him. Lift them up by name.
Pray for any personal needs you have.
Thank God that He will answer according to His will and in His time.
Thank God that He is willing to take your sinful heart and make it pure and holy.
Thank God that Jesus was willing to live and die, not for Himself but for the One who sent Him.
Thank God for revealing Himself in a special way in your life during these ten days of prayer.
May you be blessed!