Living in Harmony with God's Will
"I beseech you therefore, brethren [brothers and sisters], by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."1
A Daily Encounter subscriber poses the question, "Do you want only to be forgiven by God or also blessed by him?" The idea behind this man's question was, do we only want God's forgiveness so we can feel free from guilt, and continue living as we please without any concern for the need of God's blessing on our manner of life, and all the while ignoring his purpose for our life?
Over the years I have asked several hundred seminar participants how many believe that God has a purpose for their life. Almost every hand is raised, but when I ask how many know what God's purpose for their life is, very few have any specific details. They speak in broad generalities. In light of all that God has done so abundantly for us, serving him with body, mind and soul, as the Apostle Paul points out in today's Bible verse, is the very least we can do; that is, it is our reasonable service. Doing this comprises the perfect will of God for us.
So what does service to God include? First, it involves living a holy, morally clean and upright life. Second, another aspect is not allowing ourselves to be shaped by the ambitions of the secular world with its materialistic and achievement-oriented goals designed primarily for self aggrandizement. Third, service to God includes action; that is, what we do for God and His Kingdom while we are here on earth.
This is a living sacrifice and it boils down to serving people, and we serve people by using our God-given gifts, abilities, and possessions to help others in need. We also serve God by doing our utmost to share the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can. As Christ's commission and command to every one of his followers was and still is that we are to "Go into all the world and preach the Good News [the gospel of Jesus Christ] to everyone."2 This is one of the greatest needs in today's world, for without Christ people are lost for all eternity.
When the Apostle Paul uses the word "beseech," he is urgently and fervently imploring us to serve God with our total being. To successfully do this, we need to be filled with God's Spirit [the Holy Spirit] who empowers us to serve God and also to experience God's blessing. For help be sure to read the next two issues of Daily Encounter on "How to Be Filled with God's Holy Spirit."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to fully understand what your Word today teaches regarding living in harmony with your perfect will so that my manner of life will 'prove what is your good and acceptable and perfect will.' So help me God. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus name, amen."
1. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Mark 16:15 (NLT).