Parsonally speaking

Awakening abandonment

The prophet wrote that "the Lord God wakens me morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as the learned," so that he would not be rebellious and turn away from God (Isaiah 50:4). Before settling into the routine of our daily duties, it is a good practice to abandon ourselves and our days to God every morning, submitting to his Lordship and surrendering control of our lives completely to him.

Our culture places a tremendous amount of pressure on Christians to "fit in." The doctrines of our faith are often mocked and ridiculed in the public arena. Individual believers sometimes make spiritual or moral compromises in an attempt to be accepted. How can we withstand the secular influence of our time? In Romans 12:1-2, Paul reveals how to abandon ourselves to pursue God's will and resist compromise.

God calls us to godly living. This call to surrender our lives to the Lord as living sacrifices is reasonable, because he redeemed us from spiritual darkness and adopted us as his children. Paul urges believers to yield control of their lives to the Lord in light of all he has done for us. As God's people, we no longer have the right to run our own lives, but he still allows us to choose whether or not to surrender.

We are called to be living sacrifices, which means we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us. As we surrender to the Spirit's guidance and leadership, he empowers us to live godly lives. We are also called to be holy sacrifices, which means set apart as in for a special purpose. Although salvation happens immediately when a person trusts Christ as Savior, being made holy is a lifelong process (Philippians 1:6).

A godly lifestyle will attract some people and repel others. But the same people who resist the Gospel may seek out a believer for help when life gets difficult. Those who live in a godly manner will face conflict with the world system, and pressure from those in the world sometimes causes believers to compromise their convictions. But our highest priority should be to please God rather than to fit in with others.

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