January 12 I Tuesday
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” —Romans 12:2
There are those of us who are reluctant to fully surrender to God, because we are afraid of what His plans for our life might be. We worry He may place us in a job that is utterly boring, send us to a foreign mission field or lead us to marry someone we do not find appealing. We have this underlying fear that what we want and what God wants are worlds apart, and if we submit to God, out of sheer obedience, we would have to follow His leading.
We know God has good reason for everything He does, but many of us do not feel deserving that God would actually give us something we love and enjoy. If we harbour fears about God’s plans for us, it is for the simple reason that we do not know God well enough. As a result, we are not entirely trusting of Him. Yet, all the depth and reality of our experiences of God are directly related to how well we know Him.
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,” submitting entirely to God’s will and purpose for us. This involves a change of mind from being our own masters to submitting to Christ as Lord of our lives. In the next verse, Paul explains that by renewing our minds, we will then be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. There is pleasing on both ends. God is pleased when we surrender to His lordship, and we will find ourselves pleased as we come to approve of His will.
Why? Because God’s will is good, meaning it cannot be improved upon. It is pleasing, meaning we will be totally satisfied as He works out His will in our lives, and it is perfect, meaning the eternal God has determined the absolute best plan to carry out His will for us. We may not understand what God is doing, but as we trust Him and act in obedience, hindsight will reveal how God’s plan for us has far surpassed what we could have planned for ourselves.
David writes, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). This is not a blank cheque for anything we want, but as we delight in God, He places His desires for us in our hearts, so that what God wants for us becomes what we want. Rather than fearing God’s plan, we will find ourselves in the safest place we could be on earth—right in the center of God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for us!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I submit to Your lordship today. I ask that You place Your desires for me in my heart and help me to carry them out in complete dependence on You. Thank You, Jesus.