Rom. 12:1-2 “I beseech ye therefor brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and prefect will of God.”
What is my reasonable service? What is it reasonable that God should expect from me? Nothing less than all of me, surely, if He has bought me with the precious blood of His Son. In the verse above, Paul tells us that our bodies should be presented to God, holy and acceptable – in other words, clean and not polluted. Further, our minds should be transformed and renewed, which is God’s will.
How do we renew our minds? By saturation with the Word of God. I used to believe that God’s will was a hard thing to find, that it was somehow hidden, and could only be revealed by someone extremely holy, with years and years of study and understanding. The simple truth, however, is that God wants us to know and do His will. He doesn’t hide it – in fact He makes it very plain in His Word. He uses covenient key phrases that alert us to it’s presence. Phrases like “will of God” and God’s will” often give us clues 🙂
In other words, giving our bodies and minds to God is God’s will. And we know giving our souls to Him is His will – it’s kinda the whole point of everything, isn’t it.
How do we take it a step further? DH and I recently calculated what it would cost financially for us to go into full time ministry. I’m not talking about raising support, as I have no doubt God will supply for all of our requirements, and we don’t need to worry about that. I’m referring to getting out of debt (apparently crashing two business is expensive) and paying for studies. Our Church is generously training us as we go, so that helps enormously. But even with that out of the equation, I’m talking about a lot of money. Even if all our clients always paid us on time, when they said they would (which they never do), and assuming we keep getting more work each month and no one fires us (:)), it’s going to take us about ten years to get where we believe we’re headed.
So, are we headed there? Are we wrong about where we’re going? Well, maybe. But since we both have a strong desire to be sharing God’s Word full time, we certainly can’t do any harm to keep heading in that direction, can we? What about the time between there and here? It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to slip up into sin, and feel like such a complete failure that we doubt our calling altogether. Perhaps those slips are useful pauses for thought, and we should examine our plans and motives in light of God’s Word. But perhaps they’re just “the trying of our faith, working patience …”
Some food for thought:
Romans 8:27 KJV
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
1 Corinthians 1:1 KJV
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 Corinthians 8:5 KJV
And this they did, not as we hoped , but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
Galatians 1:4 KJV
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Ephesians 6:6 KJV
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
3 For this is the will of God,even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence,even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you andtestified . 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
In every thing give thanks : for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Hebrews 10:36 KJV
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtainedmercy , but now have obtained mercy . 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers andpilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversationhonest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by yourgood works, which they shall behold , glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves toevery ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme ; 14 Or untogovernors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence theignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, butas the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to thefroward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, sufferingwrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults , ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well , and suffer for it, ye take it patiently , this is acceptable with God.
1 Peter 3:17 KJV
For it is better, if the will of God be so , that ye suffer for well doing , than for evil doing .
1 Peter 4:19 KJV
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
1 John 2:17 KJV
And the world passeth away , and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.