As we prepare to enjoy the summer season, may we be reminded that just as the seasons change, God expects change in our lives. The Bible says,
“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.” (Rom. 12:2)
The Bible says we are to be transformed; we are to be changed. The change God is talking about here can only occur through total surrender to Him.
I mentioned recently in a sermon the difference between commitment and surrender. We talk a lot about commitment, but the Bible talks about surrender. When you make a commitment to someone, you are in control; you decide what you’re going to do. But when you surrender to someone, the other person is in control, and they decide what you’re going to do. If we’re going to be changed and truly transformed by God, we must surrender totally and completely to Him.
We must surrender our minds. That refers not only to what we think but how we think. The Bible says,
“...whatever things are true, honest, just and pure, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)
Our minds are more than computers. Computer programs don’t get stronger the more you use them. That’s not true with our minds. Whatever we see and hear, when it is repeated, it is reinforced in our minds. We must surrender our minds because when our minds are focused on Christ and honoring Him He keeps us and provides a perfect peace. The Bible says,
“You shall keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” (Isa. 26:3)
We must surrender our bodies. The Bible says,
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own.” (I Cor. 6:19)
If you’re a Christian your body belongs to God. It’s not coincidental that Paul said in the previous verse,
“Flee sexual immorality.”
God made us to be sexual human beings, but today, sex is being used in a whole lot of ways God never intended. Sexual perversion has replaced sexual purity. We are to surrender our body which means we’re to pay careful attention to what we put in our bodies and what we do with them.
We must surrender our wills. Our wills are powerful. They determine who we are, where we go and what we do. The cry of our hearts should be the one of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” Our will is a heart matter. Our hearts are changed through prayer, through reading the Bible and through listening with the intention of obeying the Holy Spirit.
God desires and expects change in our lives. Change isn’t our enemy. It’s the pruning tool God carefully and lovingly applies to remove the good and make way for the best. The Christ life is a changed life. For us to decrease and for Christ to increase, there must be change. It’s true: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting what we’ve been getting. We need change in our lives and God’s church, and it begins with surrender.
Let’s lift up the white flag and surrender our minds, bodies and lives to the only One who can change us!
Change our hearts, O God!