Google+ 12/21/12 God's Will be Done!

Romans 12:1-2

 

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. 

 

One of the most difficult Christian concepts is the ability to discern God's will in your personal walk with Jesus.  In my ministry, it is the most often asked question when people are attempting to move forward in God's will and seek my counsel.  As we have discussed many times in this forum, Christianity often presents us with a paradox that makes no sense without faith.  I believe this is exactly what God intended.  I love to read Romans.  Paul is writing to the church at Rome which is made up primarily of Gentiles.  Paul is desperately trying to make these people understand God's plan for salvation.  It is difficult because most of these people have not yet heard the good news, and they are also a part of a very intellectual culture.  Generally, people who live in this kind of enlightened, progressive culture, tend to over-think things and have great trouble with the word "faith."  The Romans were accustomed to depending on themselves, not God.  They didn't need God.  If you don't believe it, just ask them!  Remember, crucifixion was their methodical articulation of one of the most cruel forms of death that became the centerpiece of the plot to kill Jesus.  Herod had no power or ability to crucify Jesus, even if he had wanted to do that.  Rome was not indecisive about anything.  In today's Scripture lesson, Paul pleads with Rome to present their bodies as a "living sacrifice" to God.  I am sure that met with great resistance and laughter in Rome!  Paul says the reason the Romans should do this, is because of all that God has done for them.  I am sure, even with Paul's influence, that the Romans had no idea what God had done for them.  Paul goes on to say that only in this way, do we truly worship God.  Let's stop right here and summarize for our lives.  Paul wants us to give up everything to be a "living sacrifice" for God.  That's right, I said everything.  About now, you are probably discussing with yourself what you simply couldn't give up or live without.  Don't do that!  Paul says everything is on the table.  Paul explains that God will find all this acceptable and we will truly worship God with this "new" mindset.  Get ready, our Scripture is about to make the major point for us.  If we do not conform to the ways of the world and its customs, God will give us a new way of thinking.  When God gives us this new way of thinking, we will discern His will in our lives, which will be "good and pleasing and perfect."  So, is it any wonder many of us can't discern God's will in our life?  Go ahead, ask yourself "Is it really this simple?"  Yes, simple, but not easy.  One of the reasons we attempt to "train up a child" is because it is easier when we are younger.  A time when we have less complications in our life and less worldly "stuff!"  Let me give you a quick, worldly example.  When I was in business years ago, I drove a very expensive car.  I thought that was what people expected.  It burdened me financially and caused me to "copy the ways and beliefs of the world."  Today, I drive a 1995 Mercury Sable.  God gave me a new way of thinking and hence a different insight about His will for my life.  Today's car gets me from point A to point B just fine.  I am left with far less financial burdens and a new "mindset" that allows me to better discern God's will.  Don't be confused.  It is not about the car!  It is about giving it all to God so that He can teach you His will for your life.  So today, look at Jesus and say, "You died for me.  I will live for you."  Let God, through His Son Jesus Christ, give you a new way to think.  God will show you the way for your life and you will be a "living sacrifice" for all to see.  Then you will be able to understand an often quoted phrase from Scripture.  You will be able to join in and say, "God's will be done!"