Millions of people across the globe say they love God, but their lives tell a different story. In fact, over 90 percent of Americans say that they believe in God, but only 10 percent live in such a way that their lives reflect their beliefs.
Even in the church, there’s a huge discrepancy between what most people think being a Christian means and what an authentic follower in Christ actually looks like. Although many professed Christians are indeed saved – which means they’ve accepted Christ as their savior – they haven’t truly surrendered their lives to Him. They’ve given God their heart in some areas, but held back in others.
If you can relate, then at one time or another you might have wondered: What does God want from me? The answer is simple.
What God wants the most from you … is you.
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s great mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Rom 12:1)
In this passage, Paul lovingly urges us to make the commitment to offer our bodies – all that we have and all that we are – as a form of worship and obedience. This means acknowledging God’s lordship in our lives and completely surrendering everything to Him. And we’re talking everything — our ego, thought life, career, finances, relationships … you name it.
Most of us, if we admitted it, would agree that the idea of total surrender sounds scary at first. Early in my relationship with the Lord I wrestled with surrendering my whole life to God, because deep down I was afraid. I really believed God would make me do something I didn’t want to do, like become a missionary in Africa or stay single for the rest of my life. My view of God was distorted, so I struggled with seeing God as a good, loving father.
But the truth is God is a loving and perfect father who wants us to have His best so we can become the people we were meant to be. God’s dream for our lives is bigger and better than what we could ever imagine. Ultimately, our motivation to surrender is the goodness and mercy of God.
Paul reminds us of this when he writes: “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)
Remember, surrender is about much more than a one-time decision to follow Jesus. It’s much bigger than a set of rules, or even learning how to be a “good Christian.” Surrender is about a dynamic and spiritual act of worship in response to God’s love. It’s requires continual pursuit of God … and is the ultimate expression of gratitude.
This week, we’ll begin the series Living on the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality. In it, we’ll explore the depth of what it means to be an authentic Christ follower. We will be diving into Romans 12, which presents a relational profile of a Christian whose life is surrendered to God. It’s my prayer that this week each of us would firmly grab hold of the truth of God’s goodness and grace, and have the courage to go even deeper with Him than ever before.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip