Pick and choose.

We have been talking about salvation and what happens after salvation. One of the things we need to be mindful of is that our lifestyle also changes after salvation.

Romans 12:1 says, “Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? To surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”

This verse is talking about our response to God’s mercy towards us. How do we respond to God? Do we respond by turning our backs on Him? Do we respond by showing up to church when it is convenient for us? Or at Easter, Christmas and maybe New Year’s Eve if we don’t have plans? Do we respond by following the parts of the Bible that we agree with and ignoring the rest? No.

We know that Jesus is the written Word (Bible) personified. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 goes on to say, “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”

So, if Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus, to only take what we like and ignore the rest is to pick and choose the parts of Jesus we like and ignore the rest of Him. We can’t do that. Either we accept all of Him or deny all of Him. This brings us back to Romans 12:1, it tells us that we are to surrender ourselves to God. We need to surrender what we think is right to what the Word says is right. This includes surrendering our ideas and our plans and making them serve God’s plans and purposes. Surrendering our will and making our will serve God’s will. Serving God whether we understand or not. We are not always going to understand everything on this side of heaven and that’s okay. It is a sacrifice to serve when you do not understand.

It is a sacrifice to follow God when it means you lose your friends or family. It is a sacrifice to follow God when it means letting go of your old lifestyle so you can lay hold of the life that God has for you. It is a sacrifice to show up to church every Sunday. It is a sacrifice to live life asking God, “What can I do for You today?”

But see, there is something that happens when we surrender ourselves to God’s way of doing things. We live in holiness, and we begin to experience all that delights God’s heart. See most people have it the wrong way round. They think when God blesses them or answers their prayers then they will begin to do things God’s way and they are fooling themselves into thinking they are waiting on God. Nope. You cannot manipulate God. He is smarter than you. As you begin to serve God and live life His way, He begins to answer prayers and you start to experience all that delights His heart.

What delights God’s heart? All the things Jesus Christ paid for, freedom, healing, deliverance, blessing, prosperity in every area of life- relationally, physically, emotionally, at work, in your finances etc. Joy and peace in every circumstance, hope for the days to come, life and so much more. God wants to give us all of this but for these things to be birthed in our lives, we need to be surrendered to God. God will love you regardless of what you do or do not do. But the type of life you live on earth is greatly affected by how much obedience and surrender you have operating in your life.

You can be fully loved by God and be bound, suffering from torment or suffering from debilitating anxiety or whatever it is you can think of to fill in the blank. Or you can choose to do things God’s way and be free.

There is so much waiting for you on the other side of your surrender.

Love and blessings,

Melissa Tsingano.

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