December 31, 2018

By Paul J. Banta

Romans 12:1-2 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – NLT

Surrendering can be an experience that we might not just be able to comprehend because it goes against the very nature of living humanly, which is the opposite of spiritual living. To surrender we have to learn to give up a lot of garbage we’ve learned, enjoy, and find pleasurable at times. We have to see that such stuff is not useful to us in the scheme of living. It’s a sacrifice that we have to make hard as it may be. We have to change in a different direction knowing that our future on the earth and in heaven will be rewarding, full of little and big blessings. Surrendering the garbage becomes a transformation of our thought processes, so our acts of service will be for Him and to please Him not ourselves.

We’re not to be images of this world and follow after its offerings. We’re to be transformed by the re-thinking and processing of what comes into our minds, not by the pressure of the world in which we reside, but by preordained empowering changes that are to happen to us through the very person of Jesus Christ working in our lives daily by His promises. This comes through our reliance on the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Allowed, this reliance will grow our passion for serving others with conviction and purpose, living out life on this earth to better do God designed mission for His Son’s benefitting and not our own.

For a person who is committed to God, surrender is yielding, giving in (not giving up), dying to your interest or the “me thing.” Surrendering includes winning one more match for your resume, see better results coming into your player’s efforts by your hard work, achieving a great success so you can get a better job or getting more recognition from the public. What matters is that you have to be committed to a complete surrender. Give your entire being to God letting Him control your life not you, others or the devil.  You or others no longer control your steering wheel, but only hold on, listening for those particular directions letting God empower you where He wants you to go.

Whether you’re turning right or left, backing up, or going forward—you learn to give Him engine control (your mind and body) completely. You don’t coast down the road like the rest of the world, but you allow God to take your gear shift out of first into 5th and then overdrive takes over the pace of your race and the speed He wants for you. Speeding for Jesus is what life is about.

God doesn’t want you to get caught up in your successes. He wants to get your attention and keep you unshakably committed to doing it all for His purpose, which, in the end, is for your benefit. God wants your undivided attention and 100 % of your effort. He’s not interested in coaches who need Him only for prayers to help them out of tight jams, and then when we’re doing well, you ignore Him. We cannot operate from biblical principles only occasionally. It’s all or nothing. Where are you positioning yourself in the game and the game of life? No success comes from placing ourselves if living without a full commitment to a daily friendship with Jesus.

What’s your next move?