ROMANS 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What is my purpose in life? What am I supposed to do next? What is God’s will for this situation? These are all very important and ongoing questions that we face in our lives. They are questions I am asking even now as I write these thoughts. And, they are questions that the Lord delights in answering. James writes – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 NKJV) Yet, there are prerequisites. The answers we desire are not automatic.
What are these prerequisites? They are conditions and calls for our life, our heart, and our mind. First, we must be fully surrendered to the Lord. Paul exhorts us to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices. A living sacrifice cannot be dismembered. Surrender is the call to give every portion of our lives to the Lord. We cannot compartmentalize our offering. We cannot offer a portion to the Lord, a portion to the world, and keep back a portion for ourselves. This would in essence kill the sacrifice. We must bring our entire lives before the Lord. This is the only truly acceptable expression of “spiritual worship”. Anything less than this is nothing more than a “lukewarm” sacrifice (see Revelation 3:14-16)
As we endeavor to give our lives as a living sacrifice we will face a challenge. What is that challenge? We will face opposition both from within and from without. Everything in the world will try to pull us away and conform us to the call of our sinful passions. We face a true enemy without, and our sinful nature within. There is only one way to overcome this opposition. That is to renew our minds by the Word of God. We must overcome the devil, sin, and the flesh (our old sinful nature) through God’s Truth. Jesus said – “…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NKJV)
God’s Word is the only means to achieve both freedom and true discernment. The Holy Spirit is the one who brings discernment of the will of God to our lives. However, He does this through the Word of God. When we simply try to go by what we “feel” we can be easily deceived. Yet, when we test all things by the written and objective Word of God we will prove, discern, and come to know the will of God for our lives. Only then will we discover our purpose in life, our next step, and God’s will for our current situation. It is not automatic, but it is assured. If we give ourselves wholly to the Lord in worship, and seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, through His Word – He will lead us and guide us.
This is why daily prayer, meditation, and reading of God’s Word is so critical. The challenges of our lives change daily. Our paths many times will take different directions. We cannot simply rely on direction we received yesterday or years ago, we must receive a “Rhema” (breathed upon, fresh) Word from the Lord each and every day. We may not hear a “…Thus saith the Lord” every time we open the Scriptures. However, we are placing our lives, our hearts, and our minds on the altar of God each time we do. We are hiding the Word of God in our hearts and the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us into all truth. He will lead us to discovering the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for our lives. As we continually abide in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will lead us today, tomorrow, and until the day we step in to the presence of the living God!
This morning Lord I come humbly before You, I come hungry to receive Your Word. Search me and know me O Lord. Show me the areas that need changing and redirecting. Keep my heart open and palpable in Your hands. Holy Spirit, lead me and guide me into the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God today for my life. In Jesus Name!